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Black Girls Don’t Cry

When I was young I used to fight, brawl and roll around wrestling in the grass. My life was like an episode of Basketball Wives. Now that I’m grown, I’ve learned some things and realized that a karate chop to the windpipe is no way to communicate. As I’ve matured I’ve learned to get my Ohm on and practice the religion of peace. When I’m mad my fingers still instinctively tingle with the  need to give out backhands; most times I resist. My boy Gandhi would be so proud.  While it might seem that I’m perpetually walking around with a peace pipe and a Yoga mat, recently I was mad enough to beat up Mandela and tell the Dali Lama to kiss my ass.  I wasn’t mad at them. I was mad at me.  I let someone take me out of my lane, divert me off track and hurt my feeling to the point where I was reduced to boo hoo tears. That’s right, the Super cried.  It was embarrassing. Don’t tell anybody.

I pride myself on being tough, invincible—indestructible if you will. I hold onto the image for my own edification even though I know it’s a lie. Being human and not truly made of steel, sometimes people do and say things that pierce my armor. After each incident of personal attack I increase my defenses until I have protection in the form of a battalion of Trojan warriors; their strength is not unlike the ones found in a condom six pack. Despite these precautions, as with all protection, sometimes it fails.  The breach instead of leaving me pregnant left me pissed.

It’s my observation that it is never your enemies that slip beneath your guard and eat away at your defenses, it’s people you love. They have the unique advantage of knowing how to get to you from the inside.  Let me share my techniques for dealing with the enemy inside the gates. First, no matter what is said don’t give anyone permission to cause you pain.  Without exception, they must speak to you with respect. Just because you share bloodlines or childhood Barbies that doesn’t give them free reign. No one gets to tell you who you are. We are all in the process of perfecting ourselves and the refining process will undoubtedly last a lifetime. In the meantime, as we strive to improve and be better, it is our responsibility to define ourselves and reject any picture presented by the outside world that doesn’t fit with our personal beliefs. Our first loyalty and priority is to the (wo)man in the  mirror. If people exist in our lives that don’t lift us up or bring us joy then they get cut off.  Love isn’t meant to hurt. Those you love are there to improve you and inspire you to be the best person that you can be. If they make you harsh, hypocritical, angry or mean then the fact that you share bloodlines doesn’t save them from the chopping block. It’s never okay for someone you love to reduce you to tears. Now chin up!

Despite being defined as strong and tough, is it a lie that black girls don’t cry?

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About the Author

Stephanie Small, Sistah & Superhero! Author, Educator, Personal Growth Coach & wannabe Superhero! Author of Black Girl's Guide to Winning at Love & Life! (Available on Amazon.com, B&N and Kobo)

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