I saw a post on Instagram this week from Splendid Rain Co. – a company that produces pro-black clothing with powerful and provocative messages. The owner runs the page and she is also an activist.
I personally love her brand, but Etsy recently removed her shop from their shops (article here) and then reinstated it causing the young designer to aggravation and frustration. She has always been vocal about her feelings, but this one really made she made me think. She said that she’s been getting a lot of backlash because people say that her “sassy black woman” attitude makes it “easy for racists” to use against her in arguments and that she is “smarter than saying f*** you” to certain individuals who offend her.
This hit home for me because I have trained myself to never raise my voice or appear angry in arguments about race. I thought that because I don’t want others to think that my emotions overrule my logic, but now I think that a large part doesn’t want people to see my blackness in these conversations.
My friend Tomachi and I talk about this a lot. The idea that in the fight for black rights, we must be in the front lines without ammo – engaging in any uncomfortable conversation and remaining tight-lipped in the face of adversity. Tomachi thinks this is absolute garbage and that black woman have especially carried this burden for too long. I agree this is twisted and yet, it is basically the purpose of my blog. 🙃
This has opened my eyes and is something that I want to work on for myself. If I want to tell someone go kick rocks and exit a conversation, I am entitled to especially as an act of self-care. This doesn’t diminish my intelligence, ability to connect with others or my advocacy in the black community.
Although, I am not doing all the work! Allies and hopefully soon-to-be allies, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. While I want to have these conversations with you, understand that it is draining and upsetting for all minority individuals to explain to you the different ways that society has let us down.
A Conscious Black Woman
“I’ll never let y’all try to tell me I’m “better than” my culture or the ties I have to it. This goes for anyone … I’m here fighting for loud black girls, ghetto black girls, black women who are sex workers, trans black people, lgbtq+ black people, and everyone who’s been left off the spectrum of deserving human decency because of who they are or what they choose to do. Don’t like it? Unfollow.”
– Olatiwa Karade, creator of Splendid Rain Co.