By Latasha McGill
Black women are belittled, bullied, judged, ridiculed, and persecuted for their past more than any other group of people. If you do not believe this, open your social media apps, watch a news broadcast, or sit quietly for five minutes and reflect on a recent conversation you have had with someone. Often we are praised for our strength and celebrated for our tenacious spirit; we are even more so berated for our past mistakes and shortcomings. I have witnessed instances where a Black woman’s past will show up in a room before she has a chance to step foot in it physically. What is worse is that the criticism team has no respect for persons, meaning the berating happens from all races, including Black people. Sometimes, especially from Black people.
Black women receive judgment for anything they have done that does not fit into a person’s acceptance standards. The ever so popular, “she has more than one baby daddy.” She automatically receives a “W or H” on her chest for this. She is perceived as tainted, damaged, and unworthy to be a wife or treated with decency and respect. I know because it has happened to me. Black women carry around enough shame and guilt for decisions they have made in their lives when they may have been lost or did not know any better. The last thing they need or deserve is for anyone to throw their past indiscretions in their face as a symbol of “you are not good enough.” I see it daily. And, the ridicule is not discriminatory. As soon as Kamala Harris was announced as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, people attacked her character, questioning her race, and judging her for her past. When will it end? When will Black women receive the respect and admiration we so rightfully deserve just because we had endured and continue to rise out of the pits that were dug for us before we were born? I sometimes wonder will Black women ever be good enough for Black people.
Black women have more emotional baggage, scars, and pain than I can discuss. Yet, we keep loving, forgiving, and moving forward when our families talk about us; our friends forsake us, and those we love forgot about us. Yet, we are demoralized because we’ve made mistakes; some people continue to remind us of those mistakes. Newsflash¸ we are aware of our past, but we choose to keep pressing towards our future. Years ago, I heard a preacher say, “you can rescue orphans from a burning building, but all people are going to remember about you is your past.” It has been over 20 years since I have heard that statement, and it still rings true. A Black woman’s past is always a topic of discussion. I am led to believe this is because some are intimidated by us and do not understand how we are still smiling, shining, and rising all though they used their words as daggers to pierce the diving asunder of our soul and spirit.
Black women are told every day what kind of woman is “acceptable” to be loved and valued by society. Guess what? We do not want nor need a love based on terms and conditions. We are loving and valuing ourselves; past and flaws included. Belittling a person for their past is one of the most toxic behaviors there is. It shows the weaknesses and insecurities of that person. All black women deserve to be loved and adored because we are all unique and have endured challenges and overcame barriers physically, mentally, and emotionally that were meant to destroy us. You never know what a woman must endure daily to stay sane. We are attacked and persecuted just because we exist and refuse to settle and succumb to various degrees of oppression.
Instead of tearing down a Black woman for her past failures, encourage and uplift her because she refuses to give up.
Latasha “Tasha Mac” McGill is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tasha Mac is a mom of four adult daughters, a vegan, and a workout junkie who lives by the mantra Whole Person Healthy. It is her journey of total wellness in all areas of life. She enjoys encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring people to discover their own journey of total wellness and seek wholeness and freedom every day. Her favorite guilty pleasure is veggie chips with hummus or guacamole.