Starting my Black History Month series this year with a piece I added to my draft months ago, after one too many comments on how quiet I was.
Now, this isn’t something that is exclusive to black individuals, but when you’re surrounded by people who’s relationships with black people are limited to only a few, it can become apparent that racial stereotypes have influenced people’s views on how black people “should” carry themselves.
Addressing the stereotypes and experiences that affect black women is one of my main focuses when it comes to what I write about on here. Sharing my views on black women within the media, the expectations black women have had to question and unlearn, the angry black woman stereotype and the difficulties we face as we transition into womanhood are just a few of the topics I have spoken on.
“I cherish my me-time, prefer to observe before I act, and contribute to the conversation only when I think I have something relevant to say.” – ‘On Being an Introverted Black Girl‘ By Nichole Nichols
For The Quiet Black Girls & Women
We are aware of the stereotype that has been attached to black women, and anything outside of that or even just slightly different leaves others confused and sometimes they even have to make comments on how; “you’re not like other black girls”.
We tend to be left with very little room to just exist without someone making a comment or insinuating that your silence is a negative thing. Your confidence and self-esteem is questioned all because you choose to only speak when you feel it is necessary.
Sometimes others mistake our silence as a sign of weakness, but fail to notice that it is really us feeling content and confidence within ourselves. I will admit for a long time and still to this day battle with seeing my sometimes quiet demeanour as a “weakness“. But again this is where setting boundaries comes in, and being able to identify when the things you like about yourself are seen as opportunities for exploitation by others.
“Data show that for Black women, anxiety is more chronic and the symptoms more intense than their White counterparts.” – To Be Female, Anxious and Black By Angela Neal-Bernett
Finding Your Voice After Being Silenced
I think people ignore the effect that trauma and negative experiences with others have on how we carry ourselves through life. Also, not everyone’s trauma and negative experiences look alike, and something that may seem insignificant to someone else, may be the very thing that has enforced the idea that we should silence ourselves.
Speaking up without any inhibitions is not easy for everyone. At times I do envy those who speak without wondering if they have said too little or too much – At the same time I know that it is not all bad.
When we have used our voice in the past and have been made to feel unintelligent or embarrassed, it can cause black women to silence themselves and feel silenced by others. Unlearning this internalized embarrassment and shame, takes work and those comments on being “so quiet” can be difficult to hear. We shouldn’t have to explain to be people our internal battles, in order for those around us to let us be. Not every quiet black woman has been made to feel silenced. However, the black female experience in a white world definitely makes it hard to be heard.
Affirmations for Quiet Black Girls & Women:
How others see me is not my problem.
I feel grateful for the clarity silence allows me to experience.
I believe being quiet is not a negative personality trait.
I am confident in myself and find peace in that confidence.
I know silence always brings me back to a place of rest.
I embody peace. The peace I seek is already within me.
I know that me being quiet doesn’t mean I have nothing to say.
My voice is clear enough to be heard.
Playsuit – ASOS
Belt – PRIMARK // (similar)
Earrings – Omo Lola Jewellery // (similar)
Neckless – Omo Lola Jewellery // (similar)
Hair – @BreBraidBoss
Platform Sandals – EVERYTHING 5 POUNDS // (similar)
Clear Rainbow Strap Bag – ASOS