I have grown weary of people telling me this. I know they mean it kindly, but under the surface admiration is a blanket pass to the world to take the piss out of me.

And it’s like everytime someone says it, after I recount the turmoil of my life and more specifically the last six years, it’s an invitation to the world to come and have another bite of me.

Now when people say this, I tell them frankly that I don’t wish to be called strong. I am not a beast of burden, neither am I willing to keep shouldering the responsibility for the selfish people in this world who treat the rest of us like meat.

Calling black women ‘strong’ hides a gulf of complicity.

I long to be treated gently, for my feelings and wellbeing to be considered important and worth of resources to ensure. I’m unwilling to let myself be heaped with the unworked on problems of others, and the careless dismissal of the wellbeing of us all in favour of a penised few.

I am NOT strong. I’m a person.

 

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