Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.
— Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven
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Can we continue to sit back and not address a very present danger amongst the ‘black’ community? This damaging stereotypical self fulfilling behavior of nursing anger without tools and techniques to manage our personal feelings is becoming increasingly detrimental. Beyond commentary and condemnation what is there that we can do to get to the root of all of this anger? In recent times I have been honing in on the Anger that is purported to be amongst 'black' women.

In recent times I have been honing in on the Anger that is purported to be amongst 'black' women. There are so many varying opinions about this but lets take a look at some characteristics of a ABW.

ABWS Symptoms

a.   The woman is known to be loud all the time or during times of disagreement

b.   She may appear or be bitter about her life and hyper critical of others

c.    She is argumentative and loves the opportunity to disagree with any and everyone. Extreme cases she loves arguing with her male counterpart

d.   The woman is mean spirited person

e.   She makes a lot of decisions surrounding her; she is selfish and may be the center of her world.

f.      Her tongue is sharp and she is sassy, the words of her mouth cut others without reason. She is very sarcastic.

g.   This woman is unyielding even in the face of being wrong she is bull headed and stubborn. She is unwilling to humble herself to anyone.

 

For the complete FREE list of ABWS A-Z symptoms click here.

Once you have looked over what ABWS, the next step is to acknowledge if you display any of these qualities.

Acknowledgment is an important key for this process; the harsh reality is that this stereotype exists.  Whether one likes it or not they are being viewed through this lens. How does that make you feel?  Remember stereotypes are born out of another person’s perception of you. For this reason this next exercise is going to be about perspective.  Keep in mind I am not saying that I agree or disagree with the ABWS stereotype right now the focus is identification.

Acknowledgment is simply to admit the truth or existence of. So what do we need to acknowledge? ABWS is about attitude it is a mindset that produces a behavior, the way you walk, talk and think are all things tied to the stereotype.

3 S.I.M.P.L.E Acknowledgement Tips:

1.     Access: Ask others their honest and sincere opinion about your character

2.     Take Personal Inventory: look at your track record over the years what are some of the reasons that you have gotten into disputes. Do you see a reoccurring theme in your relationships?

 3.     Lower You Defenses: It is sometimes hard to hear what others have to say especially if it comes in the form of criticism. Lower your emotional defenses. When we disarm the ego our vision and opportunity for clarity will be activated.

When revisiting ABWS try and resist the temptation to justify the behavior, for now we just want to know is it true or not? After we get a handle on what exactly is ABWS, then we can take a look at where the ABWS stereotype is coming from.

So where is the ABWS stereotype coming from? In short there are many sources and as a general point of popularization. This stereotype became nationally known via the character Sapphire in the famous 50’s show Amos and Andy. She was scripted as the typical portrayal of Angry ‘Black’ Woman. She was loud, dismissive, abrasive not to mention the writers made Sapphire’s mother even angrier than she was. Sapphire became one of the mold’s for representing ‘black’ women in popular entertainment. Her image and characteristics have been replicated hundreds of times she can be seen featured in sitcoms, movies, books and all forms of entertainment.

The negative perpetuation in media of the Angry ‘Black’ Woman has been subconsciously infecting the minds of public for over 65 years. Six and a half decades ago she was introduced for mass consumption and today life her life has begun to imitate art.

Being termed angry all the time paints the ‘black’ woman as emotionally unstable, this instability makes it easy to dismiss and invalidate her as a person. In all fairness there are women in the community that gladly exploit and capitalize of this image. They use it as a form of intimidation and a defense to ward off impending danger. Personally, I have had my fair share of exposure to this emotional state of being angry for long periods of time. Many say the attitude and mentality that some ‘black’ women have adopted is a remnant of slavery. Some slaves had to adopt and angry disposition to combat their dismal reality.

The ‘black’ community as a whole still carries a lot of emotional and mental baggage few seek counseling or therapy.

My exposure to anger as a social norm comes from a Caribbean perspective. My immediate ancestry is from Jamaica, overall Jamaicans are faced with their own stereotypes. We are often branded as angry, hostile, hot tempered people who love reggae and smoke alot. I personally battled a number of these stereotypes some which have affected me more than others.

I did struggle for some time with an anger/temper and in my case this stereotype was true, minus the neck snapping. After many years of operating in a mode of being angry and not knowing how to take deal with it, I had to stop and take an honest assessment of myself and life. I did this not because I was trying to change everyone else’s opinion of me, I desired only to change and genuinely improve myself. In this process of self-improvement others began to see me differently.

In summary you may be asking what am I saying?  I am saying, yes, there is a stereotype about ‘black’ woman being angry. Yes, stereotypes are not always fair but none the less they may be anchored to some degree of truth. This being stated acknowledgement and a fair assessment of one’s behavior is imperative. For the purpose of revisiting this topic try and take a look at what signals you may be sending out. The time is now, and change is an inside job.

If you need a place to go to speak about your feelings concerning ABWS there is a community forum where people who need to talk about these issues can come. The Take Time to Heal teleconference happens every Wednesday 8 pm EST. The number is 857 232 0156, dial in code 688286.

 

 About the Author:

Emunah Y'srael is a DIY Soul Improvement expert. She is the creator of the Soulonomics 101, the Zacar Song Project (a national anthem for spiritual healing), The T3 Community Support Forums and the In the Wilderness Project, a site for spiritual education and restoration of a down trodden people.