Somebody, Anybody? It’s Hard Out Here for a Sista


Trigger warning: Violent language


“Somebody, anybody sing a Black girl song”

 Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow was Enuf                          


Being a Black woman or girl in the United States has never been easy. That much seems clear.



We are Black, so we’re not Latina enough.  And we are certainly not beauty queens.

jakiyah mckoy
Jakiyah McKoy


We are not perfect victims.  We get what we deserve.


Marissa Alexander
Marissa Alexander


We are trans* so we’re not “woman enough.” Violence and imprisonment are par for the course.

Cece McDonald


We need help. But few hear our cries until it is too late.


miriam carey
Miriam Carey



We are targets of disdain, disregard, violence, and imprisonment. We are America’s most delicious fantasy and scariest nightmare.


But maybe I’m doing too much. I mean—we have Michelle Obama, Olivia Pope, and Oprah, right?


michelle obama oprah1
Olivia, we in danger, girl!


It's handled.
It’s handled.


I knew Olivia could do it, and by "it" I mean end white supremacy, homoantagonism, and all forms of violence and oppression.
I knew Olivia could do it, and by “it” I mean end white supremacy, homoantagonism, and all forms of violence and oppression. And that coat is fierce!

But, seriously, even that holy trifecta notwithstanding, it’s more than hard out here for a sista.

Mostly I, like many other Black women, just continue to forge on—holding up the ones that I love and receiving similar love and support from my loved ones.

My ethos oftentimes reads like Baby Suggs’ advice to Denver in Toni Morrison’s Beloved:

“You mean I never told you nothing about Carolina? About your daddy? You don’t remember nothing about how come I walk the way I do and about your mother’s feet, not to speak of her back? I never told you all that? Is that why you can’t walk down the steps? My Jesus my.”

But you said there was no defense.

“There ain’t.”

Then what do I do?

“Know it, and go on out the yard. Go on.”

Y’all know I heart Toni with a fiery burning passion and usually this speech right here does it for me. Gives me the fuel to go on, not as a “strong black woman” who is a martyr for the cause, but as the descendant of some of the fiercest people on the planet, someone who knows that white supremacy is real but who hasn’t given up on helping to create a world where folk can get free and stay free.

But sometimes, like today, I just feel tired, I feel like this work is in vain, I feel like we are under attack, and they are closing in on all sides.

I feel like I don’t have the answers. But what I do have is a community of folks striving together for justice. All the bullshit aside, I know that is a whole lot.

So, fam, what are your thoughts on this particular moment for Black women? How are you dealing with the seemingly relentless onslaught of tomfoolery?

With so much bad news out there, I also want invite readers from our community to share the good news they’ve heard, know about, or are helping to make happen. Share in the comments and on our Facebook page and on Twitter personal stories, stories from around the web, organizations, initiatives—anything that’s bigging up Black women and girls so that we can 1) share the good news 2) support folks doing good work and 3) shift the energy around how we talk about ourselves.

 Somebody. Anybody. For real.

10 thoughts on “Somebody, Anybody? It’s Hard Out Here for a Sista

  1. This is why we need to “Do Us”, “Do Me” and in doing that I can maybe assist and inspire you…

    If we let this get us down, we create such disharmony in our Spirit and we have to acknowledge it and let it flow, so that we don’t have issues with Fibroids, Cysts and the myriad of Womb Issues that Women and particularly Black Women are challenged with daily.

    This constant barrage of “emotional toxins” settles in our Wombs and causes us to put off our creativity and who we truly are to always “fix” others…

    We need to take regular time to “fix” ourselves, emotionally, spiritually and physically…so that we can release the Fibroids, Cysts, BV, and other Womb obstructions…

    The 7th Annual Womb Wellness Women’s Conference is our ability to pay attention to that which births and powers the World.

    Women are the most powerful beings on the Planet!

    We create success for everyone in our circle, mates, children, organizations and ourselves (when we give ourselves permission)

    The Womb Wellness Women’s Conference is the space to release, heal, regenerate that “Womb-Battery” and have some good food, fun, dance and good energy with Women that also are healing themselves.

    We all need it.

    Women are flying in from all over the country. Join Us!

    (A Bunch of Good News for you, Sis)

    Have a Great Herbal Day!

    Dr. Eshe
    The Herb Lady

    Womb Wellness Women’s Conference is Coming!
    Forgiveness Friday with Coach Jackie…(Trainer with Iyanla Vanzant) begins @ 7pm on Oct. 18, ’13
    Super Healing Saturday begins with Sunrise Yoga @ 6:45am with Tassili Ma`at.
    Yoni Sauna available all day…
    Dr. Eshe with WombLoveology and more!

    All Women are invited to our weekly “Womb Love Call”, every Wednesday @ 9pmEST
    Call (857) 232-0300 code 7422838
    Pre-recorded calls are at WombLoveMoon & WombLoveology

  2. Thank you for this thoughtful post. I will be teaching on systemic racism and the simultaneity of race, gender, class, and sexuality-based oppressions this week, and will feature this work in my class.

  3. My crew, Honey Pot Performance (, is getting mad love for our latest interdisciplinary work called ‘Price Point’. It’s a meditation on the ways we experience/navigate this New Economy and what the American Dream/Social Contract means in the Obama Era. We’ve been running the show since it’s premier this June and we’re getting more invitations for collaborations and residencies than we have in all the 12 years we’ve been making work together! 🙂

  4. Jessica Huggins was my student. She only black person and the only woman in the class full of boys, some of whom complained that she wasn’t “diverse” enough because all her films were about black people. (I’ll give you a moment to collect your eyes that have rolled out into the street and down the block). She’s graduated now, and is producing a documentary about young people’s artistic responses to violence in Chicago. Here’s another piece about the project. She’s amazing, and she’s far from alone. There is a community of young black female filmmakers & artists getting their wings right now that you’ll be hearing from a few years down the road.

    Have a great day, crunkadelic, and much love to you and yours.

  5. Thank you for your voice! Having CFC (and all the other outlets for feminisms of color) has changed the cultural landscape for me. The terrain is no less treacherous, but I appreciate having that reality acknowledged consistently. Only by assuring each other that we’re not crazy for noticing just how brutal the climate is can we find resiliency as we struggle to work for change. Thank you!

  6. In Dallas Tx, on Oct 28 Make Art With Purpose will be featurinf “My Immovable Truth~A Dallas Lineage” Showing of words, art, archive pieces from my fierce rainbow family. I am honored to be a part of this event. Peace and Blessings
    Gayle Bell

  7. I’m a first-year teacher. I work to deconstruct these oppressions at an early age. Thank you for writing! You motivate me.

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