Strong Black Women

1826 Words8 Pages
For centuries black women have struggled to define themselves beyond the labels that have been forced upon them by history, poverty and gender. Black women have become super hero figures who are only meant to solve the world’s problems and carry its burdens. They personify self-reliance and strength while being left with very little room for vulnerability and romance. Janie Crawford from Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Omar Tyree’s Tracy Ellison from Flyy Girl both manage to shatter the expectations of love for the Strong Black woman. According to the myth, the strong black woman isn’t afforded the luxury of a romantic relationship for several reasons. One reason being that between saving the world and raising her children…show more content…
The other is a message that a woman’s utmost goal is to find a Black man who will take care of her (Hurt) These messages have created tension between black women and men because one suggests that black women better have their own or prepared to be disappointed in the short comings of black men. While the other message implies that black women can only fall in love with men who throw money at them. Messages like these have been passed down for years, and has prevented many black women from developing their own definition of love and romantic expectations. Both Janie and Tracy have their own initial definitions of love and its importance in their lives. However they allowed the words of their elders to morph these definitions and these changes haunted both Janie and Tracy. For both young ladies love and marriage was a beautiful and pure partnership between two people. Tracy developed her definition by admiring what she thought was a healthy relationship between her mother and father, but Janie’s definition was created through a revelation with…show more content…
The messages that Nanny passed down to Janie were generational and cursed Nanny in the same way that it cursed Janie. Nanny attempts to protect her grandchild from vulnerability in a world that demands she be a constant symbol of strength. In her book Saints, Sinners Saviors : Strong Black Women in African American Literature author Trudier Harris explains the intentions of the older generation of black women They protect themselves from vulnerability, from outward expressions of love that might cause them to make wrong decisions, and the distancing postures are what they continue to rely on. (Harris) Black women are taught to shield themselves from vulnerability which keeps them from being able to form meaningful relationships with potential lovers. Before either Janie or Tracy were able to redefine their expectations of love they had to experience the disappointments that came with basing their ideas about romance on their elders’
Open Document