Courtney Arlesia

The World Expects Black Women to Protect Black Women and Everyone Else.

“If you really want to tell the [explicit] truth, I tried to save the [explicit]. Even though he shot me, I tried to spare him and ya’ll [explicit] is not sparing me. That’s crazy! That’s f*cked up”!

These words spoken from Black female rap artist, Megan the Stallion, pierced my soul as she passionately shared on Instagram live about her experience of being shot by a person she considered a friend. It is not clear if the two were romantically involved, however, it is apparent they were close acquaintances and would often be seen on social media together laughing and enjoying one another’s company.

As she continued to share, my heart began to ache. If I ever have the opportunity to encounter Megan, I will say to her: “I understand your pain and I know all too well about protecting someone who not once considered protecting me”.

Imagine being reminded of your insecurities and cut with harsh words when you need reassurance.

Imagine not being completely honest to law enforcement and/or changing your narrative to protect someone’s image, character, and life even after they inflicted harm against you.

Imagine being told that you deserve to be physically assaulted because of your vivacious personality, occasional roll of the neck, and comfortability in speaking your mind.

Imagine telling your truth and being called a snitch, a liar, or an attention seeker.

Imagine being called a b*tch while standing up for yourself and not tolerating disrespectful behavior.

Imagine asking for help in a crisis and someone asking you: ‘what did you do to cause it?’.

Imagine seeking justice for a crime committed against you and it being completely ignored, but the moment a white counterpart tells her story the process to justice begins immediately.

Imagine calling for someone to your rescue but they dismiss you because you are being “aggressive” when in actuality your body is responding to trauma and triggers in its fight defense mode.

Imagine no one believes you because you never contacted law enforcement before.

Imagine your truth not being valid because the person it involved doesn’t look as if they would do such a harmful act.

Don’t rush through this moment of imaginings, actually take a moment to pause and consider these experiences.

While these situations might not be true for some, these are the true experiences that I’ve encountered; well-known celebrities such as: Megan The Stallion and KeKe Palmer have encountered; and so many Black women of all ages and different backgrounds encounter every day.

Candidly, I was motivated to write this blog due to feeling angered by Megan’s experience, which has been a trigger of emotions that I am still navigating through from my own recent ones. I needed a space to release my frustrations without be questioned why I feel as strongly as I do. As memories of my own encounters replay in my head, along with Megan’s and so many other women, I cannot help but question: what did Black women do to deserve this?

What did Black women do to deserve this?

No, we are not perfect, but we are HUMAN and we deserve to be treated as such.

We deserve the same grace, love, and compassion we give to this world.

We deserve to be protected the same way we protect this world.

We deserve to live in freedom of being whoever we desire to be the same way we allow everyone in this world to live freely.

We deserve for our stories to be told and our truths to be heard.

I want the world to hear Black women, see Black women, and to believe Black women.

I want the world to ask better questions and to gain understanding before placing cruel judgments against Black women.  

I want the world to truly protect Black women the same way the world expects Black women to protect Black women and everyone else.

And let me not end without holding my sisters accountable as well. I recently had the opportunity to lead Masterclass hosted by Her Complexion, titled: “Black Women vs Everybody”, where I discussed self-care and sister care. Black Women must also stand in the gap for Black Women. No that does not mean you have to like everyone or even believe every story that you hear. However, it does mean that if you are finding it difficult to stand in solidarity with another Black woman then you do not speak on or against her at all. Now more than ever it is time to speak up or shut up in matters than affect us directly, indirectly, and/or not at all. We must treat the next Black Woman how we would want to be treated if we were in her shoes.

This world still has some evolving to do. It is my prayer that reading this causes you to take a deeper look within and to search your own heart to discover your position in this pursuit of protecting Black women and allowing the space for Black women to be protected by you.

With love,

Courtney Arlesia

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