Grief does not come with an expiration date. My body and mind do not process pain within the framework of a time span. What I feel does not operate with the courtesy of stopping around week 9 because of dead week and finals. My grief is unconcerned with poetry shows, talks about feminism, and assignments that are two weeks overdue. It does not conduct itself like a business; I will not be fine or “better” within in 10 working days.
I am a Film and Media Studies major because I should have been Cinderella, and there should have been many before Tiana. There should have been more space for me to have aspirations more badass than being a princess, or someone more masculine presenting.
In this age of readily accessible memes and Tumblr pictures about love, beauty, and liberation, everyone can be “deep.” We can post pictures of the ocean or pensive selfies, and caption it with a quote from BrainyQuote and watch the retweets and likes roll. We know how to snap when we hear peer-friendly buzz words about oppression and we can offer, “mmmmm” when we hear something we really like.
When used by others as an insult, the controlling image of The Angry Black Woman has caused Black women to feel isolated, humiliated and suffocated for far too long. A controlling image is more than a stereotype. It’s a prophecy everyone is looking for Black women to fulfill; therefore whenever a Black woman even raises her voice, she automatically is seen as: intimidating, scary, ill-tempered, feisty, wrathful, bitter, and ultimately “The Angry Black Woman” who must shrink into their controlling image.
The activism of today is the child of the Civil Rights Movement moderates and conservatives heavily exalt as the model for activism. In fact, dissenters of this movement serve as co-opters of the Civil Rights Movement. They ignore that the Civil Rights Movement lived on the spirits and momentum of agitators and those who would accept nothing but freedom.
To be honest, my claim to Black feminism did not live in that article I wrote a year ago. I’ll boldly assert that my claim to Black feminism lives in every breath I take, because my claim to Black feminism is my claim to life.
This is a demand to 2019 to learn about how they intentionally or unintentionally oppress others, and a demand to this group of world citizens to be both uncomfortable and disgusted with inaction as Stanford students and decent human beings.
At Stanford, we have the privilege of resources many do not have access to outside of this bubble. It is important to acknowledge this fact for our own well-being while navigating hostile spaces. When we leave here, we must work to make self-care a part of our lives, and strive for self-care implementations in our home communities who may not have access to other options.