Since black people have been brought to the mainstream side of media it has been a hurdle for some. Black women have been labeled as loud, ghetto, aggressive, and overreactive in almost all settings. On TV, we are very seldom shown in a light that would make us proud. The problem is women, black women specifically, have experienced racism and even sexism in all forms of the different communication fields.
There are black women who chose to post their artwork for sale under an alias just so buyers wouldn’t be able to identify them as a black women and low ball the price which they were asking for. There are women who aren’t picked for art shows, social media influencing, and other jobs because their skin is darker. Even more currently, black little girls are being replaced with lighter skin or mixed-race children in advertisements.
My freshman year of college I went to a Historically Black College University in Huntsville, Alabama. At that time, I was a communications major hoping to one day anchor on a national or international news station, maybe even become a “weather girl”. But one day I looked around and realized, my darker skin makes it even harder for me to obtain a job in this field. When you look at CNN, Fox News, or any major station you see the same kind of woman: white or lighter skin and blonde haired. Both of which I do not have. The bar to prove myself worthy was so unattainably high because no matter my skillsets, I cannot change the color of my skin and I wouldn’t if I could. This is a sad realization that some may not take me seriously due to my skin tone. In addition to that, I don’t want to ever be labeled as the “angry black woman” so choosing a career where I may have to use my opinion and debate with someone like they do when the anchors and guest go at it on CNN, I would be indeed labeled the “angry black woman”. Even if I’m being just as passionate as a white counterpart the public, unfortunately, would see me differently then who I actually am. If there was better representation of black women in the media, then younger women wouldn’t be afraid to go after these majors and careers.
Letting go of this angry black woman stigma will allow more women to be able to thrive in their natural element as who they truly are. Black women wouldn’t have to sugar coat themselves to mold and fit the happiness of others. In the media, black women are portrayed as bossy, sassy, mean, ghetto, and hard to get a long with. I’m appreciative of shows that have changed that like Girlfriends that brought educated black women together to navigate through life. Although we still live in a time where the angry black woman is meal ticket and brings in revenue which isn’t right. Some black women do not value themselves or the lives of other little black girls and will take on these jobs and roles that they know will further push black women down the angry black woman hole.
Black people make up only 6.3% of anchors in the United States which has been an almost steady constant for the past 10+ years. That is not a breakdown for how many are black women and I bet that number is even smaller. Black women need to be represented better. And in all honesty, it starts within us. Each woman that is walking this earth collectively needs to hold themselves to a higher standard to fight the bias, racism, and stereotypes. But also, people who observe us need to love us for who we are and to not try to dim our light or “fix” us by making us fit into the American Beauty Standards. Love our natural hair. Love our full lips. Love us for being naturally outspoken.