Black women are often portrayed as fighters with sharp tongues who are ready to fight and cuss a man out at all times. Sojourner Truth stated, “plowed and planted and gathered into barns and no man could head us.” Black women are rarely portrayed as soft and gentle and kind and in need of help. This myth that we have to always be strong has been detrimental to our physical and emotional well being. We often neglect our health because we feel we have to take care of everyone else and always be strong. Black women are disproportionately affected by diabetes and hypertension and depression but the idea that we must always be strong keeps many of us from getting the help we need to take care of ourselves. We never get rest because we feel we have to be strong. Our strength also often goes hand in hand with us being perceived as mean, harsh and unfeminine. Black women are often not treated the same way as other women because we are often viewed as unlovable. Unlike other women we’re not often seen as multifaceted, when was the last time you heard the term “Strong White woman” or “Strong Asian Woman”.
It isn’t Black women’s responsibility to end this stereotype however we need to do more to take care of ourselves. Take the time to make sure you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, getting to the doctor and also a therapist if needed. Don’t put everything off until tomorrow because you have to take care of everyone. You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. Don’t believe the myth that being a strong Black woman means you don’t deserve to get help and you need to be a work horse for everyone.