This is spot on. Me and my daughter Adia, who is is 22, we're JUST talking about the demands that people, especially men, put on women's faces. It's time women OWN all of ourselves and that includes our anger.
Solange, She ain’t Mad for nothin
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(Below are some of the Lyrics from “Mad” by Solange, featuring Lil Wayne from the #ASeatAtTheTable Album)
You got the light count it all joy
You got the right to be mad
But when you carry it along
you’ll find it only get up in the way
They say you gotta let it go
Lil Wayne’s Lyrics
Now tell ’em why you mad son
Cause doing it all ain’t enough
Cause everyone all in my cup
Cause such and such still owe me bucks
So I got the right to get buck
But I try not to let it build up
I’m too high, too better too much
So I let it go, let it go, let it go
The song “Mad” from Solange’s #ASeatAtTheTable is an ode to the so-called “Angry Black Woman”. She simultaneously challenges the stereotype while asserting that the anger that she express’ is valid and not an innate or inherent aspect of the intersection of her race-gender identity, but again because she has cause too.
Similarly, in a reordered conversation/interview between Bell Hooks and Melissa Harris Perry titled “Black Female Voices: Who is Listening – A public dialogue between bell hooks + Melissa Harris-Perry”. Harris-Perry expressed a similar sentiment in response to being referred to as an “angry black woman” in reference to a guest on her show. Melissa recalled, “Yes I was mad, but I was mad ABOUT SOMETHING”.
Black women often feel anguish at feeling like they have to legitimize not just their emotions but also ask for the permission for the expression of them.
This reminds me of the Serena interview where one of the reporters asked her why she’s not smiling. To which she responded:
“To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t want to be here. I just want to be in bed right now and I have to wake up early to practice. And I don’t want to answer any of these questions. You guys keep asking me the same questions… You’re not making it super enjoyable. Just being honest.”
As a person who smiles quite a bit and enjoys laughter there is a range of emotions that I’d like to have the freedom to express without being typecast. Furthermore why should a lack of a smile mean that something is wrong?
It can become exhausting to feel like you have to alter yourself to make others around you feel more comfortable, be softer, gentler, stronger, prettier, smile more or any number of alterations. Make yourself acceptable, respectable, or just generally likable. In this song I feel like Solange, similar to so many other women have decided that they are no longer willing to alter how they feel so that others around them feel comfortable.
Finally at the end of the song Solange shares this sentiment
I ran into this girl I said I’m tired of explaining
Why you can’t just face?
Man this shit is draining
But I’m not really allowed to be mad
And to this I say… She ain’t mad for nothin
Posted by Rasheem on Monday, October 10th, 2016 @ 11:15PM
Categories: ARTistry, Black Womanist Epistemology, Counter-Narrative, Uncategorized
Tags: Angry Black Woman, Art, ASeatAtTheTable, black woman, Black Womanist Epistemology, culture, Mad, Melissa Harris Perry, Music, Review of #ASeatAtTheTable, Serena Williams, Social Science, Solange