Things not to say to a Black woman (June 2020)

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Dublin Core

Title

Things not to say to a Black woman (June 2020)

Subject

Black women
Microaggressions
Racism

Language

English

Description

Centering "things Black women are tired of hearing," explains what is problematic about common microaggressions toward Black women.

Creator

@averyfrancis

Source

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBEF2DtD69T

Date

2020-06-05

Contributor

Matthew Salzano

Instagram Slideshow Item Type Metadata

URL

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBEF2DtD69T

Text Transcription

1. Things not to say to a Black woman

2. "Can you twerk?"
Black women are often overtly sexualized in the media. Twerking isn't a bad thing and lots of women regardless of their race love a good twerk. But, when you ask us if we can twerk you are minimizing us to characters and stereotypes that we often see in the media. Also, black women do not exist to entertain you. Period.
THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING

3. "Can I touch your hair?"
Just, please stop this. Black women are not for your consumption. We are not pets and this is not a petting zoo. We are often ridiculed for our texture hair and have been made to feel that we don't fit societal beauty standards. Although you may mean well this is a dehumanizing thing to say to us. We don't ask to touch your ponytail. Don't touch. Don't ask.
THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING

4. "You don't even sound black"
This comment highlights subtle nuances of racism depicted in American media that do not accurately illustrate how we all speak. If a Black woman is speaking with elocution and diction we are often
met with this critique. This is harmful because it feeds into negative stereotypets that tend to oppress us at work and beyond. Not all Black people sound the same.
THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING

5. "I'm darker than you"
Sure you are, Karen. Does your fake tan come with 400 years of systemic
oppression, bias at work and racial inequalities too? Ya, didn't think so. This is a loaded comment so I'll just leave that right there.
THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING

6. "You are so aggressive"
For years Black women have been dipicted as angry, sassy or agressive in the media, stories and pop culture. If a woman who is Black is assertive it will be perceived as a negative response based on stereotypes. This bias often holds Black women back from growing and moving into leadership roles in the workplace. Plus, so what if we are?
THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING

7. "Wow, You are so articulate"
By asking a Black women this you are implying that you are shocked that she is eloquent, educated and well-spoken. It is implying in a subtle way that Black women typically are not articulate so it comes as a surprise to you. Nothing about this comment is okay. If you are surprised when we are articulate you need to check your own bias.
THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING

8. "You are pretty for a Black girl"
This is a derogatory comment that implies that a Black women has managed to be pretty despite our blackness or the colour of our skin. "You're pretty for a Black girl" upholds ignorant and exclusive beauty standards that have historically disregarded and isolated Black women. Melanin is beautiful regardless of how pigmented it is. Period.
THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING

9. "You'll be fine, you are a strong black woman"
Black women encounter race and gender based discrimination on a daily basis. Even with the best intentions you could be contributing to encouraging us to supress the very human feelings of oppression we encounters everyday. While this has helped Black women endure a society that oppresses
them it's important to support and acknowledge our feelings. We are human afterall.
THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING

Instagram caption

Hey new + old friends 👋🏽 just shy of 10,000 of you started following me recently! Hello and thank you for wanting to learn + grow with me ❤️ Since I have your attention — I figured I’d share some things that non-Black folks should really stop saying to us. What seems like a compliment or a passing comment can sometimes cut really deep. These are all considered microagressions (look that up) and the best way to describe it is death by a thousand cuts.

But, instead of death it’s dehumanization — and — instead of cuts it’s ignorant comments from friends, colleagues and family members. Generally speaking most people that say these things mean well! I would even argue that they are trying to pay us a compliment but today I’m letting you know it does not feel that way. As you’ve all been learning we have a lot we deal with already — let’s all agree to just spare Black women of this comments. Slide design + words by: me ☝🏽 Photo by @emmatrim

Image Description

The first slide is of a photo of a Black woman with rainbow eye shadow, and there is an overlay of a search bar that reads "things not to say to a Black woman." Subsequent slides have a beige background with sans serif black text. Every slide features all-caps serif font reading THINGS BLACK WOMEN ARE TIRED OF HEARING at the bottom.

Number of likes on post

362,375

Number of followers on account

87,000

Citation

@averyfrancis, “Things not to say to a Black woman (June 2020),” Instagram Slideshow Archive, accessed October 2, 2023, https://instagramslideshows.omeka.net/items/show/20.

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