Black Women & Femmes Aren't Only Relevant When We're Angry

Black women and femmes aren't only relevant when we're angry.

There's a wave going around spiritual spaces right now. An important conversation began by Black women and femmes and triggered by yet another series of privileged white voices trying to silence them with #goodvibesonly rhetoric.

I am filled with deep love for every Black woman and femme who takes the time to speak out and call this shit out. I love you. I support you. I lift you up.

And also.

And also I hate that this is the only time we are listened to.

It's an interesting phenomenon. In the more 'aware' (I refuse to call non-Black people 'woke') spaces of spiritual spaces online, where perhaps there's a chance a white woman will signal boost a Black woman's voice instead of trying to silence or snuff it out, the Angry Black Woman caricature is valuable currency.

Unlike most other spaces where we'll be immediately dismissed for our emotion, in these very rare instances when we are paid attention to, suddenly everyone wants to hear more- show us more of your pain, they ask cloyingly, just so we know it's real. Spill yourself before us and let us pick over the mess of you that remains.

It's so tempting to give in to it. For Black women and femmes it's like suddenly we are seen- and let's be real, sometimes it's an opportunity to get paid. In a space where our emotional labor is rarely compensated, it feels like treasure and not the trash it really is. Goddess knows we've been making treasure of trash all our lives.

We are surprised that we aren't immediately asked to sit down, be quiet, and be happy with our lot. So we dive in, full force, pen piece after piece, speak in podcast after podcast, about cultural appropriation, racism, misogynoir, and the cost of white privilege. We lay it out with excellence (for we must always be excellent, above reproach). We provide lurid and gruesome detail. We invite you into the secrets of our shadow and lay bare the places where the trauma of racism lives in our spirits, in our bodies. We tell the tale of violence and show you the scars and open wounds its left.

And a week later when we can't breathe, we wonder what happened.

A month later when everyone's had enough- I mean, a month later and still bitching about the same shit... why is she still whining, urgh-  and moved on back to where they came from and we still can't breathe, we wonder where all the support went.

Because we're still angry.

Racism is the ugly beast the smoke in everyone's sage bundles won't banish.

What happened? Where did everyone go? Now that I wanna talk about my healing, moving forward, and blooming, where's all the attention?

I tell you, some of my most popular posts still bleed anger. My inbox has never been so full of interview requests and writing invitations as when I've laid that anger bare and let everyone see the gaping wound someone's white privilege left. My shop is never so busy as when I inevitably have to deal with some white nonsense.

And I'm confused about why I'm so exhausted by it when it means that I get to eat, my work gets to be seen, and you pay attention. If all the accolades and compliments-

'Thank you for speaking out!' 'You're so brave and inspiring!' 'I'd like to invite you on my podcast to talk about racism' 'You are so amazi-'

-if it's so good, why the fuck am I always so tired?

I figured it out.

If you’re ONLY supporting us when we’re spilling our blood and guts all over our posts, blogs, and pages that’s a problem.

#reclaimingmytime

If the only time you visit a Black woman or femme's blog is because you want the tea on what someone has done to them and now they have to risk emotional abuse and re-traumatizing to speak about, you are part of the problem. If the only time you've featured a Black woman or femmes writing is when you want credit for addressing racism, you are part of the problem. If you only reblog/retweet/share a Black woman or femmes work is when it's about their pain, you are part of the problem.

Beyond the folks who are outrightly racist, beyond those who spiritually bypass to ignore their privilege, beyond those who use Black culture and language to sell their work you are part of the problem. You are the most insidious part of the problem because you claim to be our friend, ally, and supporter. You are the absolute worst because there's a part of you that says to yourself, I'm not that white person, I just invited so and so to do such and such about this and that 'black' topic!

And I'm calling you on it not because I don't want to write, speak, or be asked about my pain. I do that everyday, hell I come to pieces in this space. I do it because that's not the sum of who I am. I am an angry Black woman. I am also joyful, grieving, reflective, wise, happy, sad, and so much more than you can conceive of because all you've ever been drawn to is my anger, and only because it lets you pick at my pain.

Ask me about my work with herbs after you've asked me to come check whiteness on your platform. Invite a Black woman or femme to write about the moon instead of just about how white the witch aesthetic is on social media. Have us over on your podcast to talk about the tarot card that haunts us and pushes us deeper into our practice and not only about the latest appropriative faux-diverse tarot deck that just came out. Gush with us about the magic of mercury in retrograde and the teaching storms it brings and not only about the grieving work we're still doing over police brutality and having to politicize our healing.

Oh, yes and if you've got the means, PAY US.

So don't be afraid to invite us over to speak on race-relevant issues, just don't pass over us for the other stuff too. It's all connected, in any case.

Get you a girl who can do both.

Black women and femmes aren't only relevant when we're angry.

 


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© Asali Earthwork