institute for racial justice

Black Wonder Woman is Most Certainly a Single Black Female!

As the world slowly yet steadily begins to emerge from this extended punishment we’ve been on for the past year and a half, I’ve been doing some deep thinking and soul searching.  What is this “normal” everybody is talking about getting back to and more importantly, do I want to go back?!?!  I mean, let’s be honest. 
Life ain’t been no crystal staircase so if I get a chance to push reset on what my new normal is going to look and feel like, why not? As I began discussing with my circle I realized, we’ve never operated at ‘status quo’, just getting by, survival levels. Our default has always been superheroine mode and guess what? Super heroines need to practice self-love and self-care too!
So let’s start with who the Single Black Female is from my perspective.
She is 40+, has never been married and, for the purpose of this conversation,
she does not have children.
She is strongly independent, gainfully employed, a thriving entrepreneur or yet still searching for the job opportunity that will adequately compensate her.
She is the caregiver for her aging parents, auntie to not only her siblings’ offspring but also to the children of her childhood friends.
She is the problem solver and shoulder to lean on. She is the one folks call on in a crunch because she only has to worry about her and can come to the rescue at a moment’s notice.
Now, I realize some may question “what about us married Black wonder women?”  With all due respect to your Mrs. status, our struggles are not the same. While you may have the responsibility of a family unit, you also have a built-in support system. Someone to take the lead. Make sure you eat when you’re nose to the grind and your cape needs dry cleaning or repair. (Not to mention the 1000 federal laws that support the unearned privilege of married Americans including enhanced Social Security benefits and tax breaks not available to equal-earning single counterparts.)
We really do have to bring home the bacon, fry it up in and pan AND wash the damn dishes.
And then there are those who may argue that all women, regardless of race face the same challenges. Once again, with all due respect, I am unapologetically playing the racial disparity card. The earnings imbalance between Black and White women is staggering.
With a national pay gap at 21% in favor of White women, the amount lost year over year would satisfy the average student loan debt for most Black women.
As we accept and acknowledge the uniqueness of our challenges, it is that realization that allows us to save ourselves by creating and implementing our personal self-care strategy. Sleep isn’t for suckers and crying is cleansing. Get your rest. Feel your emotions. And the biggest superpower flex- Asking for help! Tap into your super network of super friends.
Reaching out to my counselor super friend was so hard and so worth the stretch. The nuggets she gave me allowed me to see the big picture and be ok with making myself my priority. You know, the whole putting on your oxygen mask first approach.
My entrepreneur super friend pushed me off the edge as I found every reason not to launch my brand. Today, my designs are worn nationwide because she encouraged me to jump. Sometimes we just need to be must be reminded of our own super strength.
Yes, the road is winding and the load gets heavy.  The super flex for a super heroine is navigating this landscape of life, being our best version of self and leaving our mark along the way. Yeah, I am a Wonder Woman!

By Renee Palmer

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