The challenges to the change that I want to see are not rooted in any institution within the U.S. They are not challenges that we have to go to the government to march or petition about. They are challenges that lie within the mind of every black woman in America that may have uttered or thought the following:
“I’m a strong black woman, this is what I do. If I don’t do it, I’m considered weak and I am definitely NOT weak. Strength is in my blood.”
“I’m not crazy! I don’t need counseling!”
“Depressed? Black women don’t get depressed, thats for white people.”
“I got Jesus, and He’s all I need – not therapy.”
HOW CAN THEY ASK FOR HELP WHEN THEY DON’T KNOW THEY NEED IT?
Convincing black women that there is strength in vulnerability is not an easy feat. Showing them that accepting help and support from someone is an excellent way to experience love would take a change of heart, mind and spirit. The change that I see is a transformation in the way that black women think and their perspective of their place in the world. It would require that they admit that the level of responsibility that they believe they have is excessive and impossible to meet while remaining whole.
I combat the myth of the strong black woman and the idea that the responsibility that they take on (without boundaries) is causing them mental and physical disease by simply to them. I listen attentively and ask questions to make them think about the consequences of the choices that they make. I do work that facilitates self-love, unconditional love, asking for and receiving help and support. Most of the women that I work with are aware of the myth’s affect in their lives. However, I need to reach the women that don’t know and aren’t convinced.
Dismantling this myth has to become a movement. This is precisely where PulseWire and other online communities can be a catalyst to bombarding black women with the information necessary to transform their thinking and perspective of who they are in the black community and society at large. Social media and online communities have a way of appealing to people in their quest for information through anonymity. It would afford those women that are unsure about exposing very personal information to a live (face to face) group the opportunity to share with a group that offers a liberating platform through some form of anonymity. Real work and real relationships can and would develop once the initial insecurity dissipates after several on-line meetings.
This has to become a movement of women that are willing to develop the habit of taking care of themselves so that one day, taking care of yourself becomes a legacy for ALL women.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.