Recently, a tweet went viral that read “Black women will save the world”. I immediately became perplexed, confuzzled, if you will. The intention of this brother’s tweet was probably honest, a compliment to the intelligence and resilience of Black women. However, the reality of what these words mean is troubling for a lot of reasons. It is needless to acknowledge the way that Black people as a whole are treated in this world leaves a lot to be desired. The way Black women are treated in the hierarchy of Blackness is a whole other monster. We are expected to be the backbone of the race while simultaneously being berated by the same group that should be protecting us.
Even in the scope of the Black Lives Matter movement, despite there being an equal number of women that have died at the hands of police brutality, the men take the forefront and the headlines. So when I read “Black women will save the world”, I see labor, both emotional and physical, being placed on us with no expectation of return on that investment. Just in the last three months alone, we have had blatant examples of Black men creating toxic spaces for Black women. How, no, WHY is there an expectation that a group of people who are largely unappreciated, not listened to, and taken seriously, going to save everybody?
Rapper J. Cole released Snow on tha Bluff, his response to female rapper Noname’s opinion about rappers that make their careers on Black plight staying largely silent when Blacks are murdered in the streets. While she mentioned no names in her original tweet, Cole got offended and made a three-minute song that initially appeared to tone police all Black women. His idea that we need to treat men “like children” and speak to them slowly and politely because men have chosen not to do their own research is a slap in the face. Another rapper, Talib Kweli, has been actively harassing Maya Angelique(@moneyymaya) on all social media platforms. The reason? She responded to someone else’s tweet that his name was in (among other rappers) about Black men only marrying Black women with light skin. Maya never mentioned him directly. Talib was kicked off Twitter for his verbal abuse towards her. He has doxxed her, exposing her and her family’s addresses and phone numbers to the public. He and his followers are now actively trying to get her parents fired from their jobs. She cannot afford a lawyer and all of her crowdfunding attempts are being flagged as fraud.
The final situation? Tory Lanez, yes another rapper, shot Megan Thee Stallion in both of her feet after a verbal altercation. Megan stayed largely silent after the incident. However, she decided to come forward after Tory’s PR team began leaking false stories to try and clear his name. The scariest part is that he could have killed her, and she still protected him by staying mute for almost a month.
In all of the aforementioned scenarios, the number of men, both celebrity and civilian, that have stepped in to protect these women are few and far between. Let me be very clear when I say that there were absolutely men moving in our favor. The big problem is that there simply were not enough of them. We have been disregarded so significantly by people that look like us. I would like to see a world where Black women shift the focus to be our own warriors. Like the Umoja women of Africa, we protect and uplift ourselves. Teaching our daughters and sisters that they do not solely exist for the consumption of others. Having grace for older generations of women that maybe did not have that option or that experience. Ceasing the idea that we should protect abusers at our own expense because of the repercussions that await them if we do not. The true enlightenment that awaits us when we embrace that type of sisterhood is unfathomable. So the answer to that tweet is no. Black women will not be saving the world. Not because we are incapable, but because we do not want to. Period.