BLACK LIVES MATTER: THE CYCLE OF PAIN
Updated: Jul 30
See: Lindsey Bever. "‘I’m not shy to tell them how I feel,’ young black girl says of wrenching Charlotte testimony." The Washington Post. 28 Sept. 2016.
Even though this happened in 2016, It’s so disturbing to see young Black children having to face the harsh realities of systemic racism again and again that White, Brown, and Asian kids only get to learn about.
9-year old Zianna Oliphant gives a heartfelt speech to the Charlotte city council after the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott
It speaks to the trauma that many Black people are socialized to expect, so they feel the burden of racism from childhood. The myth of the “Strong Black woman” is the unwritten rule that Black women can’t show their pain and instead have to suck up everything to uphold their strong image.
Zianna Oliphant spoke with CNN's Don Lemon about her speech.
For Black women to face different forms of overlapping oppression- sexism, racism, and classism— makes the “strong woman” narrative even more oppressive to me. Because, of course, we as Black women have no choice but to be strong-willed. In a way, all we have is ourselves, because in reality, the entire world is against us.
And, what would it take to even feel safe enough to show emotion without it being ridiculed or looked at with pity? Black girls grow up knowing they have to carry their own pain in preparation for the pain they will have to suffer in the future as Black sisters, wives, and mothers.
Black mothers have to fear for their children every day and the younger generation have to fear for their lives, not experience the blissful ignorance that many non-black children have. For, in American culture, we accept, no, insist, that blackness equals pain, suffering, and death.
~~ Nya Vason (Class of '23)
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