“The Black Woman is the Mule of the World”-Zora Neale Hurston

May 23, 2010 @ 1:54 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 16 Comments

“To my girls on prescription pills I know how you feel”…”-Erykah Badu from the song “Soldier”

All women are powerful and resilient, but it appears that slavery provided Black women with an extra amount of fortitude. It seems that the Black woman has been given all the ingredients that she will ever need for overcoming any adversity in this life.  The Black female slave had to nurse her child, nurse the masters child, cook, clean, and be the help mate of the Black man all while maintaining her sense of self. Time has evolved and we are now in the 21st century and the Black woman is still EVERYTHING to EVERYONE.

With all that said one would equate a Black woman to a cyborg an indestructible being. Friends, family, colleagues, and employers expect nothing less than perfection and productivity from this super human creature, this is where the problem lies. Black women unfortunately have bought into their own hype and myth. Women overall have a problem with saying no because we have been conditioned to over compromise and to put others first before our needs, but those forced social attributes are multiplied ten fold in Black women.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health 26.2% of Americans suffer from some type of mental health disease. That translates into 1-4 adults. Due to the stigma of mental health among the Black community our statistics are highly under reported. As Black women because we are more often to be the primary caregiver s of everyone it behoves us to be in the best optimum mental and emotional health.  As women we can all stand to lose ten pounds or so, eat better, and exercise, but when was the last time you gave serious thought to your mental and emotional well being?

I know religion has taught us that we must accept suffering and endure till the end because our reward will be given in heaven, but we cannot take that antidote literally. When your crying never ceases, when you have to constantly wind yourself up to do the simplest of things, and when shopping no longer cures it all then you must stop and take note that maybe something is wrong and you need to deal with it before it deals with YOU! There is nothing wrong with admitting that you need help and that you may need to speak to someone or simply you may need medication to help ease the pain and allow you to function better. Seeking professional help does not make you crazy it makes you an intelligent adult exercising good common sense. Drinking/doing drugs excessively, burying yourself in financial debt due to retail therapy, being promiscuous, and constantly rotating significant others may all be manifestations  of you trying to fix something innate in you that may need intensive therapy.  Love yourself enough to seek healing for yourself and its hard to admit it but sometimes prayer, church, sex, and TIME is not enough to aid in the healing process. Seek the professional help that you know you need, if not for yourself do it for the bevy of people who depend on you.

16 Responses to “ “The Black Woman is the Mule of the World”-Zora Neale Hurston ”

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  13. [...] without being branded as angry, or of being vulnerable. We aren’t expected to be anything other than icy mules, which can take a licking but keep on ticking.  In many ways some of us are complicit in that [...]

  14. [...] just like everyone else gets to work through- but because we are expected to continue playing mule alongside the Black male ego and remain unflappable but silent, our humanity goes [...]

  15. [...] happen in my life. I am a woman, I am Black, I have a disability, and I have a strong personality. This world is not made for the likes of me. So I cannot be mediocre. I cannot be a’ight and still expect to demand the right to life, [...]

  16. […] as it is time for them to interrupt oppression on my behalf, I am on my own. Needless, to say this “mule of the world” is […]

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