Rufaro Mazarura lists 6 things she is tired of hearing as a black girl
1. Is that your real hair?
Okay, my hair, whether it be natural, relaxed, extensions, a weave, braids or even a wig does in fact, belong to me. I’ve paid a lot of money, dealt with a whole-lotta nonsense to get products that work for me, and spent hours pushing through the pain barrier while someone pushes and pulls at my hair to get it the way that I like. So, whether it is synthetic, styled, or just naturally growin’ out of my scalp – yes, this is and always will be, my hair.
2. We are not all ‘rude girls’, and not all of us hail from the ‘ghetto’
Similarly: Not all Asians are clever, not all Indian people have arranged marriages and not all Muslims are terrorists. Let’s ditch the stereotypes.
3. Not everything is about race.
If somebody feels confident enough to talk about race and the part it plays in their life, which is actually really difficult to do, maybe try and listen. Race affects us all, even if you don’t see it, or haven’t personally experienced the negative side of things, try not to devalue the experiences of others and the stories they are brave enough to share.
4. You’re so strong and independent! *shocked face emoji*
I know this is meant to be a compliment but this is a line rarely (if ever?) said to men. It’s as if being ‘independent’ and being a ‘woman’ are mutually exclusive. If you haven’t already, it is probs time to Youtube ‘Destiny’s Child – Independent Women’. Amen.
5. You’re really pretty, for a black girl.
Just no. There are so many things wrong with this sentence. #Checkyourself
6. I don’t want to sound racist but…
If you think that what you’re about to say is going to sound racist, it probably is. Saying that you’re not racist at the beginning of a sentence, or trying to convince me that what you’re saying isn’t racist by precursing it with some sort of disclaimer, is not going to make what you’re about to say any less racist. In fact, it’s going to make whatever you say sound worse, because now I know that you intentionally said something that you understood to sound racist…to conclude, it’s probably better left unsaid.
Written by Rufaro Mazarura