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It’s Hard Out Here for a Black Woman

The Whine-Wine Blog

Because every rant, rave or whine goes down better with a great glass of wine!!

Working hard all day trying to correct and clean up someone else’s mistake. Your boss comes to you and demands why you’re behind in your duties. You give him this incredulous look conveying the fact that if he hadn’t f’up you wouldn’t be in this predicament. Or you spend your day covering your ass because you’re the first one management blames when something goes wrong.

There are hundreds of scenarios such as the one above that black women face daily while tip-toeing around her white counterparts trying not to be labeled an “Angry Black Woman.” Because of this stigma, black women have to walk into the office with a plastic smile plastered on her face pretending everything is honky dory. She cannot stand up for herself assertively. She cannot correct her white co-workers if they make back-handed racist remarks. And God forbid if she expresses any other emotion other than being grateful for just having that position. It doesn’t matter if she’s frustrated that she’s overqualified for this position or that she has an educational background that qualifies her for more. She’s continually passed over for promotion and generally relegated to jobs that don’t require strategic thinking. Through all of it, she’s expected to keep smiling while feigning appreciation.

All of this leads to stress and anxiety. Being unable to be your authentic self leaves many black women in a deep depression, feeling defeated. This mainly happens in corporate settings.

In the article “To Be Female, Anxious and Black” by Angela Neal-Barnett Ph.D., black women are either seen as the strong black woman, the angry black woman or the Jezebel/video vixen. These stereotypes attribute to the mental wellbeing and anxiety of black women. Being corralled into these 3 stereotypes doesn’t give black women a chance to showcase their talents or originality. It can also connotate fear and distrust amongst co-workers.

Even though the strong black woman is looked upon as a positive trait, it can still lead to depression. The strong black woman cannot show vulnerability, fear, or uncertainty. We all know that at one point or another we all feel those things. Also, they are not allowed to show compassion or softness. When women bottle up emotions, it can turn into anger which leads to fatigue – mentally, spiritually and physically.

Ladies, self-care is so important and equally as important, is living in your truth. If you’re feeling depressed and anxious, get help. Speak to a therapist. They’re an independent third party who is vested in helping you work through your issues and helping you become whole. Talking with a therapist can also provide a different perspective on your problems, helping you decipher what’s real and what you’re making up in your consciousness.

Another thing you can do to ease your anxiety is to pamper yourself. Get a massage or go on a mini vacation to the mountains or beach just to relax and do nothing. Your mental state of mind is essential. You have to take care of that the same way you take care of your body. If you don’t have the funds for a mini vacation, you can give yourself a break by getting on Groupon and hiring a cleaning lady to do your spring cleaning while you go read a book or sip some wine! It’s up to you to take care of you!

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