Angry Black Women
By Mariama Diallo
I made this presentation because within American society, black women are at the bottom of the totem pole. Whenever we speak up to defend ourselves, we are seen as aggressive, overbearing, and too much to handle. This common approach to our struggles reinforces the denials of our pain and further pushes preconceived notions from those we’ve yet to meet. I don’t want black women to humble themselves in order to not be seen as a stereotype.
“Our skin absorbs sunlight and our hair defies gravity”
MIMICKING THE HIDDEN FIGURES WITHIN NATURE
with traditions stemming
back centuries ago
Who wouldn’t be angry that their
image is being attacked
WHEN ONE NEGATIVE TRAIT
IS BEING PORTRAYED TO BE
SPECIFIC TO A CERTAIN
ALL BECAUSE THEY ARE
WOMEN AND BLACK
WHEN WE ARE
THE ONLY BLACK
WHEN IT IS
NOSE AND LIPS
IF YOU DON’T
HOLD UP TO THAT
STANDARD IT IS
LIKE YOU DO NOT
As long as our spiritual antennas
continue to be demonized and
Do not expect the “angry” black woman
OUR VERY EXISTENCE IS DEFIANCE
I feel like we all should speak on what we know, whether that is through our individual experiences or our education. I am a black woman so I will write and express the plight yet joyous ride that is being an African—specifically a Guinean—woman. I use black and African interchangeably. I used the app Canva to make my poem presentation because of the variety of templates available. My inspiration was an image I saw on Pinterest that showed the different hair curl textures, types, and patterns within my community and how it relayed into nature.
Meet the Pair
Mentee Mariama Diallo & Mentor Angela Dorn
Mariama’s Anecdote: When first seeing my wonderful mentor Angela, I was so nervous because I had never opened up to or really kept in touch with an adult other than a direct family member. The thing I appreciate more than anything is her ability to listen. Half the time I was just ranting about social issues, hot topics, and my past week without any interruption. It was kind of like a therapy session. She shared some of her story, which made me feel open to new ideas as well as get a better sense of who she is. Junior year is stressful and these end-of-week meetings are such a refresher, thanks to Angela.
Angela’s Anecdote: My mentee Mariama and I have different writing styles. Mariama enjoys writing poetry. I have read several of her poems and she is a great and creative poet. I write articles and interviews. We both write about race and racism, among other things. When we worked on the “Tribute” prompt in a Girls Write Now workshop, we wrote about two black women artists who lived pre– and post–Civil Rights Movement, with similar life experiences: Billie Holiday (Angela) and Whitney Houston (Mariama). Both of our tributes referred to Black women whose music touched us. Their voices dominated the airwaves during their time period. Despite their fame, both lived in pain and succumbed to addiction. Billie Holiday was destroyed (in part) by everyday racism, and that came out in her addiction and her music. Whitney Houston experienced racism and LGBTQ bias. It was interesting to discover our common empathy and admiration for these artists.
Mariama is a first generation American in my western African Muslim family. She loves to watch anime, lifestyle videos and bake. A weird fact about her is she loves to clean, especially doing laundry. It calms her down for some reason.