Not long after having a conversation with friends about how the first emotion given a black woman’s response to a situation is ‘angry’, I was watching the 2016 State of the Union Address and was introduced to Miss Edith.
I gotta back up before I introduce her…let me give a quick recap of the conversation with some insights. In our conversation, we concluded that no matter the situation, if there is any emotional response whatsoever usually there is an onlooker, participant–whatever the involvement —who will quickly retort ‘she’s angry’. Our brothers pass us and say ‘Smile and stop looking like an angry black woman’. ‘Scooze you, could I be squinting because the freakin’ sun is in my eyes? We can talk about their responsibility to protect us and not perpetuate that stereotype on another day….
Where was I? Oh ok….raise your hand if any of this sound familiar….
You had a rough day at work and battled traffic for 45 minutes…answer the phone exasperated because you are cooking dinner and checking homework (with no real time to talk on the phone) and say ‘Hello?’ — Raise your hand if the person on the other end say something like….’Well, daaag, why are you angry?’ or ‘Whatchew mad about?’
UUUhhhhmmm – no!!! I’m exasperated, busy, tired, overwhelmed, underappreciated, possibly depressed and thinking about all that I have to do after I get you off of the phone, feed the family, clean the kitchen, prepare lunches, sign these stupid school forms… I’m busy – NOT angry.
You just found out that the scholarship you applied for was awarded to another applicant. You worked hard on it and are disappointed. Thinking about it as you head to a meeting your co-worker asks ‘what are you so angry about?’
ATTENTION!!! *Analysis of the 42 facial muscles which create emotional expressions suggests there are four basic human emotions. New research from the University of Glasgow has challenged the established view that there are six basic emotions: anger, fear, surprise, disgust, happiness and sadness. I’m sad NOT angry.
Finally you are minding your own business and working at your desk. Concentrating on what you are doing and looking intently at your computer screen. A co-worker walks up and asks– Ohmygoodness why that face…what happened? Who made YOU mad? Sigh….Excuse you!!! I am CONCENTRATING ON MY WORK FOR GOODNESS SAKE I’m focused NOT angry!
Now let’s meet Councilwoman Edith Childs. Some may say she looks angry…I say Miss Edith looks Unbothered sitting there dressed in glory! Blogger Awesome Luvvey said “…looking like her outfit was sponsored by God’s favor…” But in actuality Miss Edith (if you have an ounce of home trainin’ you betta NOT leave the Miss off of the front when you address her!) was disappointed and offended….but not angry. Sitting next to Mrs. Biden, getting texts from family/friends telling her to give a smile Miss Edith was NOT an angry black woman. **According to the Index-Journal she was disgusted by the people sitting below her balcony seat socializing and fidgeting with their cellphones while the President delivered his final State of the Union address.
I take my hat off to Councilwoman Childs. I didn’t see an angry black woman when I saw them sequins and that pillbox hat, I saw a lot of things – first and foremost a poster woman for the Unbothered. In my imagination she is a mother of the church who has a ‘to blessed to be stressed’ zippering bible cover. Not only a political figure for Greenwood, SC I imagine she is a long-standing member of the deaconess board, school board and usher board. I think that while she is not to be played with, you can count on her to drop pearls of wisdom, encouragement and a hug when you need one.
Nope, I don’t subscribe to angry black woman. While I am allowed to get angry, it is not the only emotion that I’ve been equipped with and not the first one that surfaces in every situation. Who is with me as I adopt Unbothered and add it to my list of responses as I look at the world from Under my brim.
*Source: http://www.spring.org.uk/2014/02/how-many-basic-emotions-are-there-fewer-than-was-previously-thought.php and **Source: http://www.indexjournal.com/news/Councilwoman-enjoys-DC-trip-to-State-of-the-Union–irked-by-Republicans