The Iconic antiTHESIS of blackWOMAN

Editor’s Note: The following is a response to remarks by D.L. Hughley from Dr. Sharon Washington. -M.P.

“I’ve never met an angrier group of people. Like Black women are angry just in general. Angry all the time…” D.L. Hughley

The stereotype of the “angry black woman” is a product of a historically situated fear coming home to roost.

The notion of black people in America being angry is certainly not a new phenomenon. In fact, this stereotype of the black American female is actually an outgrowth of the “angry black man”, which makes D L Hughley’s statement about black women tragically ironic and metaphorically hilarious.

I appreciate Mr. Hughley’s right to say what he’s thinking and to express controversy in humor. But I was bothered by this statement because it has become an iconic media image of “black woman”.

Anger is a precarious energy. We are warned (by someone I admire – Jesus Christ) that we should be angry but not sin. “Anger” with behavior that is ingratiated in hurtful policies is a good thing. Given the history of black peoples in this country, it is OK to have some anger. The real test in our evolutionary maturity is in how we handle the anger that we may have. This notion of black American men turning on black American women with a stereotype that was first attached to them by a historical phenomenon of disproportionate tragedy – that being racism – is ironic at best and incredibly sad at worst.  It is sad for all of us, as a black people.

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