Culture

While others admire the strong Black woman, I admire the powerful Black woman

professionalblackwoman While others admire the strong Black woman (read more about the racist strong Black woman trope) I admire the powerful Black woman. Who are they and what are the differences between the two? It is simple. One lives life on her own terms while the other lets the terms decide how she should live.

  • The strong Black woman is the mammy or maid of the community. The powerful Black woman leads her own tribe.
  • The strong Black woman continuously makes choices (check out my post on “The Black Women’s Cult of Perpetual Bad Choices“) that place her at a disadvantage. The powerful Black woman calculates her choices that place her at an advantage.
  • The strong Black woman sacrifices for others. The powerful Black woman puts her interests first and realizes that it is beneficial for everyone.
  • The strong Black woman wants to be saved while saving everyone else. The powerful Black woman saves herself.
  • The strong Black woman seeks to make friends who look and think like her. The powerful Black woman has friends but seeks powerful allies in every sphere of society.
  • The strong Black woman rejects and even despises power. The powerful Black woman welcomes and wields it.
  • The strong Black woman accepts “her place.” The powerful Black woman creates her own space.
  • The strong Black woman complains about problems; while the powerful Black woman has already figured out solutions.
  • The strong Black woman complains and fights the system. The powerful Black woman infiltrates and takes over the system.
  • The strong Black woman wants to be accepted and loved. The powerful Black woman loves herself and has people who want her acceptance.
  • The strong Black woman fights, marches and mans the front lines. The powerful Black woman strategizes and decides who, when and where the fight will be or if there is even a need for a fight.
  • The strong Black woman is everyone else focused. The powerful Black woman is self focused.

That is the difference between the two. It is not about race or class. It is about how you see the world and how you choose to live in it. You are more powerful than you think. Sister, by simply changing how we see the world and ourselves we can change our destiny. This post was not intended to bash our mothers. I love our mothers. For centuries our mothers had to be strong and had to make do with what they had to keep our families together. But today, regardless of what people say, Black women have a choice. We can choose to struggle like the women of the past or we can choose to thrive. We can choose to be strong but powerless or we can be powerful and wield our power. Which one will you choose?

H/T Emma C.

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9 comments

  1. Von 4 December, 2014 at 14:16 Reply

    The powerful Black women has learned to play the game because she is a victor, and not a victim. She doesn’t exist only on the surface.

  2. BlackDahria 9 December, 2014 at 14:23 Reply

    Great read. It’s really made me think about some things.

    And I agree. The Powerful Black Woman stays winning. Always. People, information, and resources are drawn to her.
    The Strong Black Woman is a resource to others. Sometimes she wins, but sometimes she also loses because all her energy is focused outward.

  3. Raven 12 December, 2014 at 05:59 Reply

    I love this because it is so true.
    I never really thought about why i disliked the idea of the strong black woman, but you have it out pretty clearly why black women should reject the idea of the “strong” black woman.
    However I can happily say that the women in my family taught me to take care of myself and not to allow myself to be used and abused. My mother, who means the world to me, has not let family stop her from doing the things she enjoys; vacationing with my dad, going out with friends, and trying to be healthier and happier. She is a human and a woman and nobody is able to take that from her.

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