Loud Black Girls or Courageous Women?

Case #1

A group of African American women celebrating their book club in Napa Valley last August were kicked off a wine train for being “too loud.” Their night out turned into a degrading event that prompted them to act. They just settled an 11 million dollar racial discrimination lawsuit. Racial discrimination lawsuit settled

I understand the hurt of the women on the train. I recognize a desire to be myself while also being conscious of social norms and stereotypes that might stifle my authentic self. 

Case #2

Bianca Dawkins made an appointment at a high-end salon in Minnesota. She felt humiliated when the stylist complained about her natural hair saying it was a “wild animal that can’t be tamed.” She used her voice to call out the salon on social media. Minneapolis Salon Slammed

I understand the struggle to find a stylist who is sensitive to your hair texture. I am blessed to have a stylist who treats me and my hair with respect. There are few in my city who are qualified or experienced in this area. 

Twitter has exploded with the hashtag #LoudBlackGirls. Many tweets include negative comments about black women speaking up.

Why can’t I, a black woman, speak up for what I believe in without being seen as a threat? Those who know me are comfortable with my humor and outgoing demeanor. Often, though, I hear a voice in my heart that holds me back from confrontation about race in my community. I fear that I will get a reputation as ‘that angry black woman.’ So I stay silent. In turn, I feel guilt or I walk away thinking about my rebuttals or what I should have said.

The choice is daily. To speak up or to take it. To engage or walk away. The challenge is in knowing when and how so that the effort is not only perceived positively but can actually make an impact. I am constantly searching for the courage to speak up when I see things that affect my family and me.

I comes down to this: As a mother, I owe it to my boys, to the generations after me to be a voice for CHANGE and for understanding. My fear of being perceived as a “loud black girl” is superseded by my desire to lessen the burden on my children. My goal is to have those brave conversations without jeopardizing my moral principles or integrity. I will be loud with a purpose. 

I will be loud with a purpose. 

I took a step forward in this regard. If you remember my comedian post, you’ll know I left that situation without saying what I wanted to say. I have since reached out and met with Mr. Hoodie “Comedian.” I told him exactly how I felt and I’m working with the comedy club owner to make sure that type of “humor” doesn’t make it back on stage.  

This voice that I used was frightening at first. But by using it I’m feeling stronger. I’m not afraid to get a little loud in order to make a difference. My children depend on me to do that. I’m proud to say that I will be a Loud Black Girl if I have to.