The Angry Black Chick

Posted: August 31, 2015 in race
Tags: , , ,

Once upon a time, I was an Angry Black Chick.

I know, some of you are saying “You’re an ABC right the fuck now”, but hold your horses, I’m telling this story.

I did a segment on a friend’s podcast where I affected a ‘ghetto accent’ and ranted about whatever was on my mind.  It was fun back then.

I look back on it now and realized I was doing a weird version of Chill Black Girl, performing for my white friends.  I’ve since dropped that, gained more friends, lost a few and am now at times Angry, at times Disappointed, at times Disgusted, and at time Mocking.

I tire of the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman, constantly militant and on edge, ready to yell “racist” at the slightest hint of wrongdoing.  For starters, it’s an off shoot of that other pernicious stereotype, the Strong Black Woman, constantly wearing the problems on the world on her back without complaint.

Fuck, if you had to carry that much shit, wouldn’t you be just a little pissed?

Also, it tells people that we have only have a few emotions, angry being the most prominent one.  It dehumanizes us, turns us into caricatures that can be dismissed.

And now I’m gonna talk about Nicki Minaj.  Nice swerve, yeah?

I’m so-so about her music.  “Anaconda” makes me wanna dance (if you haven’t seen someone twerk with a cane, you’ve not lived), and her verses on “Monster” and “My Chick Bad” make me feel like the eldricth creature I secretly am (shhhhh, don’t tell my partner. His sanity is too delicious). “Looking Ass Niggas” is amazing and the video is too.  I’m meh with her other songs.

I appreciate her weird style, her not-so-weird style, her insistence to young girls to finish school and don’t depend on no man, her insistence on doing shit her own way.  Love her or hate her, you gotta respect that from an artist.

I also didn’t watch MTV’s VMAs last night.  That requires cable, which we don’t have and watching TV, which I don’t do. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those snobs, I just can’t deal with the medium in a way that I still can’t explain, so our lovely smart TV is used by my partner when he wants to watch Netflix and me when I want to run the Pandora app or play YouTube bird videos for the cats in the office.

But, like most TV moments I want to stay informed on, I watched the hell out of my Twitter feed, and oh boy oh boy did  it light up when Miss Minaj called out human joke Miley Cyrus upon receiving her award.  Don’t get me wrong, Miley’s done good stuff with homeless teens and all that stuff, but her bullshit on Twitter is straight up White Feminism (TM).

And Nicki was awesome for calling her out on live TV. That captured video is just magnificent.

But of course, before the show even ended, keyboards were going with the thinkpieces.  About how Nicki savaged Miley, about how Nicki was “throwing shade” (wrong terminology, if you must use it, that was a straight up call out). Once again, for defending herself, Nicki gets thrown into the same box we all get thrown into when we act even a little “out of line”: The Angry Black Woman.

For defending herself, let me say that again.

When is this shit going to stop? I know that answer.  As long as that term is used to silence us, to make us the bad guy, to make us worth not listening to (like we’re children having tantrums “not until you straighten up that attitude”), that box will always be there.

No matter what message we’re trying to convey, people, usually white people and sometimes black men, will fear our anger so much that it’s not worth listening to the message.  And that’s bullshit.

So much bullshit.

  1. Today I came across this piece in The Atlantic about the Minaj/Cyrus clash (via Shakesville):

    This was a textbook example of what’s come to be known as “tone policing,” a common term in feminist and anti-racist circles—shifting the focus from what was said to how it was said, using the pretext of concern that someone’s style might undermine substance to, well, undermine that substance. It’s also an example of an opinion that appears informed in part by stereotype (BET: “Miley Cyrus Basically Calls Nicki Minaj an Angry Black Woman”) or maybe some un-publicized bad blood; Minaj’s initial tweets about being snubbed were laden with smiley faces and LOLs and jokes—passive-aggressive, perhaps, but not outright angry. Cyrus’s comments were also, ironically, pretty rude: She went beyond the scope of the question she’d been asked to make a comment about Minaj’s character in general, telling one of the biggest newspapers in the world that a popular guest at the ceremony she was about to host is “not too kind.” Was Minaj supposed to go on the same stage as her and not respond?

    I like Liss’s comment:

    Minaj was right on. Cyrus was being a tone-policing asshole at the intersection of misogyny and racism. And, you know, not for nothing Everyone Who Criticizes Nicki Minaj’s Tone Constantly, but there are some of us who appreciate and value other women for their “rude tones.” Some of us are even women ourselves who have rude tones! And some people like us for that, too!

    She is one of a vanishingly small number of White Feminists™ whose every utterance doesn’t make me want to crawl out of my fucking skin.

    • lkeke35 says:

      If you like that writer (who I will be looking up right away) you’ll also like Olivia Cole. She’s another White woman who actually gets that White women are not the center of feminism.

      She also has her own website with some great articles.

      That said, I just want to point out that Nicky is right to speak up for herself because 1) No one else is going to do it; 2) She’s in a business where she cant be successful if she doesn’t; 3) and she”ll be vilified as a floor mat for not doing it.

      So she’s going to get called out her name no matter what she does, and if thats’ the case then she can just do whatever she thinks is correct for her. I love that she did this. I love it when any woman shows backbone even though I know there’s going to be a White backlash for it. I’m sure Nicky knows that too and did it anyway.