Black men, our beautiful black kings, even treat us as if they did not enter the world through our wombs…It hurts.
As promised, this is Part Three to the three-part series Limited but Free, where three women will share about their experiences being a minority. They will also share how God has been a pivotal part of shaping their identity in a world that constantly tears them down. It brings me deep joy and pleasure to introduce to you one of the first friends I made upon entering college…Qkirajah!
If you ever meet Q, you won’t forget her. There’s a special something about her, I’m afraid my words will do an injustice. Q’s presence is powerful yet polite. She is a woman of few words but is known to speak her mind. She is the embodiment of beauty as well as pain. She has experienced death, yet brings life to so many around her. We share the love of food, basketball and all things introverted. Above all things, the girl is raw and the girl is real. Keep reading, you’ll see what I mean.
I feel as if the most appropriate way to start this post would be “WARNING: the following may offend some” but seeing as I have the freedom to openly express my feelings, I am not concerned with who will potentially be offended by this post. Truth be told, the ones who will have a problem after reading this probably need to be hit with a little reality anyways.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned that as a black Christian woman, I can expect to be offended at least once a day. In fact, identifying one experience that I have felt disadvantaged in as a black woman is so difficult. It is impossible to even count the number of times I have walked into a room where I have had to prove myself before even introducing who I am. For example, how my hair is laid (not-laid), my posture, my slang (lack of), and the list continues. However, because this is one of the specific tasks I have been assigned, I will only discuss a few.
There was a specific teacher I crossed paths with some years back in high school. Now, I came into the class knowing that my interactions with this individual would be trying based off his pre-existing reputation. (Side note, I am not a confrontational person. I never went into this class looking for problems.) So, the situation surrounding this experience was that I had recently been out of school for months due to having open heart surgery, that of which he did not know. I came into this class about half way into the semester. Immediately preceding my arrival, this Caucasian instructor greets me with the comment, “Oh hello! You must have been out making a baby, huh?”
I won’t go into details about the aftermath; however, just know that my parents made a trip downtown to have a conversation with the superintendent. I will mention that he faced the “bare minimum” of consequences because of “who he was” (. . .maybe not who he was, but more-so the color of his skin). As a black girl, who was not in Christ at the time, my outer response was hateful, full of anger and wrath, and far from how Christ now calls me to respond. Inside, I was hurt. Not just by the fact that it happened to me, but I was hurt due to the realization that I had to be taught by an individual who already assumed the absolute worst of me simply because the color of my skin.
Regardless of the many academic awards I had won and my involvement in almost all the extra-curricular activities the school had to offer, he still viewed me as a black girl who was destined to be somebody’s baby mama. I had to fight every single day after that to earn an “A” in that course. It took everything in me to hold my tongue when many comments were targeted towards me and other black individuals in the class.
…the absence of a black female leader in our church affects us.
Another thing that I would like to touch on is that the church is not excluded from this. Even in the church, I have felt disadvantaged as a minority WOMAN. Recently, a group of friends and I sat and discussed how much the absence of a black female leader in our church affects us. We discussed the message it sends us as young black women, knowing that even within the church, the Bride of Christ, we are still at a disadvantage. It hurts. But this is the broken world we live in (keyword = broken).
Sadly, the society we live in is not much different. It is a part of the everyday struggle as a minority to live with the fact that regardless of how successful we are, our surroundings including the leadership in our country, the jobs we’ll have, the people we’ll interact with on an everyday basis will always treat and view us as inferior in some way. Black men, our beautiful black kings, even treat us as if they did not enter the world through our wombs. It seems as if they feel more valuable or important when they have a white or non-black woman on their arm. This is the standard that our society has created. It hurts.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)
As a black, Christian woman, I have learned to expect to be offended. To not expect offenses would just be ignorant. Jesus Christ went to the cross and died as an innocent, perfect man because he loved me that much and I still offend him daily. So again, for me to not expect offenses is ignorant and unrealistic.
But being offended has started to become a beautiful thing for me. Being offended reiterates the Gospel in my life. It points me back to the Cross. I find it comforting that I can take my hurt to a God that has been constant. I find it powerful that no matter how much the world puts me at a disadvantage, I’ll never be at a disadvantage in the eyes of a God that has overcome the world. I find it freeing that my identity no longer lies within the way the world views black women, but my identity is in Christ and Christ alone. The One who died a death I deserved. The One who goes before me to fight my battles. The One who has already claimed victory for me. My one and only Savior.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you . . .”