1BN Contributor: How It Feels to Be a Black Woman




Charish Halliburton (photo cred: Charish Halliburton/Facebook)

Charish Halliburton
(via Facebook)

A young man from the University's newspaper interviewed me because I spoke at the Black History Month Celebration. His first question was the vague "How do you feel about being a black woman?" When I heard it, I thought it was too simple. Like he hadn't done his homework when it came to journalism.

I stammered before answering, but my immediate response was "I feel great." But I knew, in previous decades, that I had no idea what it meant to be a black woman. I varied from denial to ambivalence to pride and the years in between those feelings were filled with turmoil. Rather than explain all of those stages, I rambled about something pseudo-intellectual until he asked another question. 


Whether he knew it or not, that young man, asked the most unanswerable question you can pose a black person. I gave him an attempt in answering it (I can't even remember all I said), but the question lingers, haunts, even delights me. Had I given myself a breath, I would have said: "Being black isn't a stationary act, it rolls in and out like a tide. Just when you forget to think about it, a wave suddenly crashes back to the shore; carrying with it, a harsh reminder that you are, in fact, the other. That's how I feel about being a black woman."

What do you think about Charish's response?
Charish Halliburton is an English instructor at Lourdes University in. She is also the Co-Creator and Editor-in-Chief of the The Motley News.