African women are reared to be loving, kind, responsive, and to cater to everyone’s needs – their parents, elders, spouses, children, friends and the list goes on and on. This is all good and well, however, what happens to your needs? It often goes on the backburner. Being selfless is the name of the game but putting yourself aside on a constant basis is a recipe for trouble.
I’m all for assisting others as often and as best as possible. The conundrum with this is, there is a sense of guilt that comes with having passionate desires. Unique ideas are often shushed for the sake of culture and tradition. It is not the keeping of culture that is the issue, rather it is the slow death of the individual.
One case in point is relationships. While I don’t think a woman should be desperate for a partner, I do believe that she should be confident enough to state what she desires out of a union on a short-term or long-term basis. Plainly, she should vocalize if she’s interested in a man, whether she wants a no-strings-attached arrangement or a solid commitment. I’m not with playing games, hiding emotions, and being coy. If you want something, ask for it. If you’re not willing to accept the terms, keep it pushing.
Additionally, it’s deeply troubling the number of Black women who feel that sharing a man is better than having no man. Knowing that your mate is cheating and being encouraged to “give your husband condoms” to lessen the chance of catching an STI is preposterous- this was actual advice from one woman to another in case you’re wondering. Sigh.
Secondly, I believe it’s extremely imperative to live out your dreams without fear of what others think. African women are constantly basing life decisions on “what would he or she say?” Who cares? Will they be the one to live with the consequences of not accomplishing your goals, or will you? Be clear and live your life on your terms. Yes, you will get backlash for deciding to become a dancer instead of an engineer. Yes, you will be doubted nonetheless, will you let that stop you?
Life is meant to be LIVED. Unapologetically, passionately, and wholeheartedly. It’s not an easy feat to be outspoken because many simply don’t like hearing or seeing the truth. Others are so downtrodden and so pessimistic that the sight of anyone else having enough gall to live an unconventional existence reminds them of how far off the Richter scale they’re living. So, do yourself a favor and BE.