Black Women Are Fucking Tired

Since the death of George Floyd and the beginning of a worldwide protest, I’ve found myself thinking about Breonna Taylor. Clinging to her story, her place in this historical moment, my stomach fizzled into knots. My blood boiled, and I could not articulate words. She was 26. She was home with her partner. She was resting, attempting to get the good night’s sleep that she earned. But what followed, could never be justified. Even the firmest believer must see she was never meant to die that night.

Black women deserve to rest. We deserve to close our eyes and let our dreams transport us to a world where we’re uplifted — a world where our prayers are answered and our sons and daughters can travel far but always make it home. A world where we are not objects to be handled, or tools to be utilized, or chores to be completed, or bodies to be harmed. A world where we are not dumping grounds.

Black women deserve to rest. And we deserve to wake up.

To be a Black woman in America is to be born into a binding contract whose fine print you didn’t approve. Black women are everything.

We are nurturers. We are protectors. We are homemakers. We are breadwinners. We are providers. We are allies. We’ve operated as mental health clinics and rehabilitation centers for our families and communities. We’ve been the daycare, the ATM, the church, the school, the kitchen, and the safehaven for our loved ones. We’ve been the entrepreneurs and cultural leaders, and we’ve worked behind the scene. We’ve been the butt of the joke, the punching bag, and the armrest. And we too have been the victims of police brutality, murder, and assault.

The intersection between race and gender affords us no protections. We are seen as inferior until they need something from us. Or they want something we have. Black women have given until our very last drop. We’ve carried the baggage and burdens of many with nowhere to unload. We’ve taken hits with our chins still up. And even when we are running on empty, we still find a way. We find a way to give. To love. To show up. To grieve. To support. To worry. To explain. To care. To spend. To move forward. To mother. To give a damn.

To be a Black woman is to be the glue that holds everyone and everything together, but dries clear, only to be unseen amidst its counterparts. Our humiliation, our harassment, our torture, and even our death may not always take place in the public eye, but where there is light there is a Black woman hurting, and another one fighting, and another thriving. Shine that light on their stories.

It was a Black girl who filmed George Floyd’s death. It was three Black women who founded Black Lives Matter. It was a Black woman who created Say Her Name. It was a Black woman who founded the Me Too movement. It was Black trans women who led Pride.

Be outraged by the loss of our Black women. Be outraged by the loss of our Black trans members. Say their names. Uplift them. Hire them. Thank them. Fight for them. Make space for them. Listen to them. Believe them. Love them. Let them dance. Let them laugh. Let them rest.

We are not afterthoughts.

Black women have skin that was kissed extra by the sun and hearts strengthened by the glow of their ancestors. We are here too. We are everywhere. Take notice.

Rest in Heaven, Breonna Taylor.

LET'S TALK:

2 Comments

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS ARTICLE

  1. If I could highlight the words that hit me hardest, I would be pasting the entire piece right here. But this says it all: “Black women are everything.” I’m reading this right after I’ve put up a sign on my bedroom door asking not to be disturbed and moments after I sent an email declining commissions because everything in me is gone and passed out to everyone else. Black women have been used up. We are husks. We are so tired. Thank you for continuing to write us into power. Thank you for uplifting Breonna Taylor.

    5 likes
  2. “To be a Black woman is to be the glue that holds everyone and everything together, but dries clear, only to be unseen amidst its counterparts.” Every sentence in this piece is powerful, but this one hit the hardest. Thank you❤️

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