“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” –W.E.B Du Bois #TheSoulsOfBlackFolk
Triple consciousness is a heavy burden to deal with. Black women are born with three strikes against them. They are women, strike one. They belong to a class that is associated with poverty and welfare, strike two. And most importantly, they are black, strike three. Therefore now the concept of “triple consciousness” is created: being born black, American, and female, with second-class citizenship across the board.
I would like to say that today in the society we live in, it is almost strange to be a black woman in the American society. We were brought to this country to work long hours for no pay, to be sex objects to the slave owner of our bodies, and to bare multiple children to fill the fields for work or to even be sold with no regard for our feelings. Our bodies and our sexuality has been envied and experimented on, and many of other races long to try to duplicate through surgeries what we were naturally given.
We have always been the object on display that other races saw need to pick our minds, copy our style and in the midst try to destroy our self consciousness of who we are despite what they think. Oh yes, it’s tough to be a Black Woman and a Black Mother in today’s society. How do we as mothers stand strong for our offspring in the midst of a society that sets up laws to hold them down because of the shade of their brown skin? How do we stand as Black mothers in a society that tells us to just go sit down and be silent? Remember you just angry and a mad black woman!
Our faces have constantly been used as the plastered picture upon the walls of America for poverty and welfare and we have to deal with the constant dismissal and denial from everyone, even from our own people, at times even from our own Kings. We are filled with fire and they label us as “the angry black woman”. America gives no pedestal for the black woman because all her life since she arrived on the soil, she was needed to be the foot stool for society.
Triple consciousness is not an easy burden for black women because we have been taught to ignore the raging misogynist, destructive thought patterns that exist in our communities and to just concentrate on issues of race, blinding and religious traditions that have been holding us back for years.
We have been taught to ignore the derogatory terms that are featured daily in the rap music and other genre’s which label us as “hoes, b*tches, and encourage us to be side pieces instead of accepting the label of a Queen and the main and only course on the plate of a man’s heart.
Being conscious of yourself as a Black woman in today’s world means having to fight a battle where they constantly parade the idea that your natural born hair, skin tone, and shape is dreadfully wrong. Covers of magazines that tell you that you have to look this way, dress this way, in order to be labeled as beautiful. All the while the same ones who tell you that you need to change your image, are the ones attempting to surgically take on your hips, thighs, plump lips, and ability to wear your hair in a variety of stages naturally.
In the words of the late Malcolm X, “Who taught you to hate yourself?”.
Society has not fully recognized the black woman’s triple consciousness. Our history and our every day lives are lived through the dehumanizing experience of slavery and the unfulfilled promises we have encountered over the years through the most difficult times in history. We are taught to forget and forgive the things of our past. We are taught that we should get over it meanwhile covering our eyes and muting our voices to the things visibly happening around us.
The lynch…now named America…telling us, the black woman, to be silent or else.
Who will challenge the nation to arise out of sleep and be all that you were created to be? More importantly, who will push to never change who you are regardless of the born strikes against you? We have to stand as life has always forced us to do. Be strong. Be courageous. Be ourselves. Love ourselves and continue to birth a nation of like minded souls who stand and take pride in true self.