Sunday, August 7, 2011

Black Women Walking by Tracey Rose

While on Facebook, one of my friends posted a video that interviewed four black women about their encounters while walking on the street. They said black males were constantly harassing them as they were walking. This harassment starts at an early age and is woven into their life. These comments and mostly lingering stares s cause black women to become self-conscious. So black women are growing up worrying about their body image, which causes their to have low self-esteem.  One women describes the stares as "There's a feeling of always being under scrutiny; always being inspected, always being sized up, always being rated always, being evaluated and I think it was happening at such a young age. I mean you're a teenager and that’s how you're coming of age. Your sense of identity, it's all over the place, and then you have this other thing going on too". The cliché sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you is completely incorrect. Words cause emotions and emotions influence you’re opinions, especially opinions about yourself. So yes, I believe words are more painful than stick and stones; they are an emotional pain that hits your core, right in the chest and knocks you down. This is how these women feel; this is what they encounter before they step into a classroom, before they drive their car, when they leave their house, before they go to work; they feel the scrutiny. 
      This video is dedicated to Adilah Gaither, the 16-year-old female who was shot in the chest by male student, Octavious Clarke. Adilah was shot after refusing to give Octavious her phone number in front of bus stop outside Spingarn Senior High School in Northeast Washington.  Adilah died from the shot to the chest on January 13, 1998. Why would a young man shot a young lady over a phone number, there is not justification for his actions. Octavious went beyond a sexual comment to a point of no return.  He serves a sentence of seven years to life behind bars for involuntary manslaughter.
Please black men protect your queens and just respect us; every person deserves respect. And Queens make sure you let these males know they are inappropriate and do not beat yourself up about their comments because it is not your fault; it is males who are choosing to degrade us they are the problem.

Disclaimer: Not all black men degrade black women, and black women are not the only women being scrutinized.

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