“Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber halps me into carriages, or ober mudpuddles, or gibs me any best place!” – Sojourner Truth
I can remember reciting this as a poem in my English class in high school. Back then, the poem meant something altogether different to me. And, although it speaks about equality for women, I’d like to go a bit deeper.
You see, as a black woman, I was taught to be strong and not need a man for anything. While, my white counterparts were taught to be docile because they can be. They don’t face the same hardships and struggles that we do, so they are allowed to be timid and obedient.
Because of this, black women are looked down upon by our black men. The very men who are supposed to love and understand our struggles. To most, it’s a smack in the face, and a sign of ultimate disrespect when my black male friend says, “He’ll only date white women the next go ‘round, because they listen and are supportive.”
How is this even true? How can you even say something like this as a black man?
Like, whose been supporting you all this time, and you still have little to show for it? It’s okay for me to be your friend, cheerleader and confidant, but I’m undeserving of your love because of my strength? I’m left bewildered and broken. I know you can’t help who you love, and I have no issues with interracial relationships, but to be blatantly overlooked is a problem for me.
What happened to our black men? What happened to black love? Ain’t I deserving of that?