Oh No, Not Another Angry Black Woman, 2019
Black women are so easily labeled as being ‘angry’.
The ‘angry black woman’ is a misguided entertainment device. I see the ‘angry black woman’ stereotype on the TV. She’s seen shouting, rolling her eyes and just generally being louder than everyone else. Recently, Serena Williams was branded as an ‘angry black woman’ just because she stood up for herself. This phrase forces so many black women to suppress and conceal any form of anger because they fear for being labeled ‘angry’. The ‘angry black woman’ stereotype is a tool that keeps black women from speaking up against injustice. It’s a clever way to silence us.
But maybe for this very reason the world actually needs angry black women? Anger is an emotion all humans feel, and anger can also be righteous. I believe we need women who are angry enough at the way black women are being treated that they’ll do something about it. Women who are willing to overcome this negative phrase by transforming it into something positive. Women who are willing to take back the power and plant seeds that future generations can reap. Women who are hungry for change.
The reason I create my artwork is because I have felt this anger, and my artwork is my personal reaction to it. To clarify, anger shouldn’t manifest in violence. It just requires an understanding of what the situation is, wisdom to know how to tackle it, and a boldness to act knowing that it will come with a cost.
A Letter To The Woman Of Colour, 2018
Unapologetically be you.
Use the anger, the fear, the happiness and every other emotion you feel as a drive to elevate yourself and others like you. I’m talking about using your emotions to positively transform the situation. Go against all odds, and speak up against the voices that try their best to bring you down. Little do they know that you cannot be torn down. To every woman who has aimed high but been told she wouldn’t achieve her goals, to every woman who has ever felt small, USE THAT and prove them wrong. Be in control of how you are being perceived, and while you’re at it, don’t seek approval from the conventional standard of beauty. It’s a narrow frame that makes you believe that what you are is not enough. It marginalises people.
If you have the opportunity to inspire and encourage other women, please do it. Practice faith that goes far and beyond the facts and statistics. When you do this, I promise you others will follow. Doing nothing puts you in a comfortable position, and your comfort will ensure that things stay the same. Things shouldn’t stay the same. Comfort is overrated anyway. When people change, society has to as well. We need to stop comparing ourselves to one another, we must stand united and help each other up when we fall. Live life with the knowledge that your existence can influence others.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Being a woman isn’t easy. You are constantly told by society that you are weak and unable. That you cannot achieve what men can achieve. You are to be inferior. But I believe that as a woman you are strong. You are powerful, and you cannot be held back. You must refuse to be silenced and refuse to be tamed because you are a strong tower that cannot be moved. You must free your mind and acknowledge that you matter and you can greatly impact those around you. If you have a voice, speak. Tell the world your thoughts and make sure that you are heard, because you have a lot to say and what you say matters. You can hold your head up high with full assurance that when negativity is thrown your way, you can cultivate it into something that will shine as bright as the sun. You need to ignite the fire that is within you. When you fully accept who you are and are confident in your own skin no one, not one single person can tell you otherwise. You shouldn’t struggle for other people’s approval. You have to make a stand and never back down no matter what may attack you. You must be bold, standing tall and looking life in the face with the words “bring it on!”.
-Anthony Quintal Issue page 29