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“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.” – bell hooks

Limiting yourself and allowing yourself to be limited by other people’s definitions or expectations of you is not only constricting, but can be completely frustrating. As black women, many times we feel boxed in by what other folks–black and non-black–think of us. We operate in the world–not totally as ourselves–but in a way that attempts to minimize the stereotype. We try not to be too loud, or brash, or attitudinal. Or we may even incorporate some of the markings of a limited definition of blackness just to fit in. Either way, we lose.

Going forward, make a promise to yourself to live life on your own terms. Live it loud, find pleasure in it, do what you want to do. Don’t narrow yourselves down, Clutchettes. Live large!

Happy Wednesday!

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  • Zaza

    Very true- in some situations you don’t want to be the one to take charge, or voice opinons loudly- for fear of being dismissed as the ‘angry black woman’, then on the opposite side, around some very loud ‘sterotypically black'(sorry don’t know how else to describe but you know people like this!) black people you feel pressured to act up to being more ‘black’, louder and sassier.

    I know it’s up to the person to give into these pressures or not but sometimes its hard not to.

    Would love to get to a point where having to consider ‘level’ of my ‘blackness’ isn’t an issue, but to some extent, everyone modifys their behavior around different people and different settings, whether work, school, meeting new people, out at bars, with old friends, different groups of friends,with parents: rare is the person who can say they ‘live large’ and are exactly the same in every situation, but I wish I dd more often.

    If I could switch off the ‘give two fuggs what other people think!’ button off on myself more often I would!

  • Donald K Sumner

    Too baaddd this will not work to combat bw’s heightism…