You are Angry. You are tired. You don’t take care of yourself. YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT, fat, and sloppy. You have a bad attitude . You are promiscuous. You are loud, emotional, and irrational. You are a hoe. You are a b*&%$. You can’t find a man. You don’t need a man. You need a man. You spend too much time and money on your hair. Your hair is fake. Your nose is too big. Your children don’t need him. You are a baby making machine! You can “do bad” all by yourself. Your hair makes you look militant. You are militant. You are too educated for that. You deserve love. You deserve to pamper yourself. You deserve a break today. The church is holding you back. Black men that date white women hate you. You have to be a doormat to keep your man. You have to be religious. Keep your legs closed. Do as your told. You are embarrassing. Comb you hair. Don’t go out the house with a nappy head. Your skin is too dark. You are ugly. You are only good for sex.
Is that enough?
Let’s just say that it is for now.
If you are a black woman you have heard these messages audibly and inaudibly from the culture, media, the workplace and from people we love. Being a black woman and hearing negative messages can be challenging. These messages can challenge your faith, esteem, and worth.
I want to send an encouraging word to my African American sisters today. Sister’s you have influenced this nation greatly. You have have served as the care taker, family backbone, and spiritual leaders of your households ever since your ancestors came to this new land from slave ships or other means of transport. As nannies, mammies, and “girls” you have taken care of the families by cooking, leaning, nurturing and nursing numerous white families then to come home and do the same with you own family through the years. You have intentionally fostered an environments of hope despite poverty by providing the “essentials” in a way, most creatively and effectively. For example providing meals made from parts considered to be “scraps” and unveiling the beginnings of using recycled or “gently used” clothes and material to dress and present your family as seamless; you are indeed innovators.
You press your boys to become men who are responsible, respectable and good decision makers. With your girls you attempt to pass on your strength protect them from becoming a tool for any man’s use, guiding them on how they can best protect themselves, guard themselves, and cover up in a world that wants their body before considering their minds.
Have you impacted a nation? Believe it, you have.
According to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Foundation, found that 74% of the Black women polled considered a “religious life” to be very important
and according to this particular’s survey’s findings black women in comparison to other groupings polled by sex and race were considered to be “most religious”. See this article from the Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/black-women-in-america/
(Personal Note: I thought this was interesting and worthy of noting, although I never wholly put my faith and trust in survey samples.)
I do however put my faith and trust in whom is really important and should be the center of our focus: Christ Jesus.
One of my grandmother’s favorite scriptures was Proverbs 3:5-6:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.(NIV)
Black women don’t give up! Proverbs 3 is full of wisdom and encouragement for you. In Proverbs there is this woman, she is called wisdom and she comes from God. She offers knowledge, stability, growth, and confidence. Have you met her? Wisdom makes it known that those negative, distracting, and demoralizing messages you hear above are confronted, combated, and cast down due to the sacrifice and love of Jesus Christ.
The good news is that God sent His son to save and to defend the depressed and oppressed. Jesus counters the messages of our humanistic culture by calling us to repentance and follow his lead. We need a savior, defender, and a champion. God’s word triumphs!
My favorite verse in Psalm 139:14 encourages me:
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them! (NIV)
Let God’s words encourage you today. Pick up the Bible and find out that God has a work in you yet to do! Don’t give up! Smile! You have been created by God for a Purpose.
Thank you God for my many Grandmother’s who influenced this nation, what a blessing!
In Memory of the grandmothers who directly influenced me:
Merrie Ethel Manning Barr
Nora Lee Rose Jones
Myrtle Holmes Manning