The Cheyenne Hour: Daily grind of young, educated, black women
I want to start out by saying, being a black woman, especially an educated, young black woman, is a full-time job.
Not only is it without monetary compensation, it is also a laborious battle day-in and day-out. Needless to say, I put up with a lot of s**t for who I am as a person, and to be brutally honest, it’s over for that in the year of our Lord 2017.
Ever since childhood, and mostly in my tween and teen years, I have experienced racism first-hand. When I was in the seventh grade, I was called the “n-word” twice by one of my peers — and mind you I don’t mind using strong language. However, this word makes me cringe, and I refuse to use this in my column.
Even in high school people would try to constantly touch my hair like I was Lassie or some sh**, be in awe when I would come in with a new hairstyle, or ask me dumba** and stereotypically black questions like “Do you eat a lot of fried chicken and watermelon?” and “How much/ how do you wash your hair?”
The answers to these questions are simply “no” and “no.”
First of all, I’m very selective with my fried chicken, and I can’t stand the smell or taste of watermelon. Secondly, I wash my hair just like anyone else, with shampoo and conditioner. These are some of the microaggressions that used to p*ss me off in high school.
Thankfully, most of these have faded away in my time at Rutgers. I’m starting to notice, though, other microaggressions that are equally as annoying and discouraging. Let me just list a few:
● Being told that I’m racist because I’m pro-black/pro-minority (this is altogether a topic for an article all by itself).
● Being told I look unprofessional and like Aunt Jemima when I wear a headwrap at work.
● Being told that a house party is closed while white students are being ushered through the door.
● Being told by a sorority tabling for a date auction that the process for participants is “selective."
Obviously, the list goes on and on, but I decided to point out a few of my “favorite” moments at Rutgers and in my adult life.
To be enrolled in a University that proclaims to be and prides itself on being a diverse school, I find that the institution could do so much more work in dismantling racism, sexism and misogyny.
It’s honestly disgusting to see that in 2017 there are sick individuals putting anti-Muslim paraphernalia on public buildings. People don’t understand how important it is to make educational spaces as inclusive and safe as possible. I’m currently over the bulls**t, and I am unsure of how safe I feel as a black woman on this campus.
I want to end this article with some positivity— y’all keep being the stars that you are and know that you are beautiful, loved and supported. Don’t give a damn about your haters because they’re just mad that they have dry scalps.
Thank you for reading, and it’s a pleasure to have you all on The Cheyenne Hour. Stay beautiful, moisturized and continue to slay!
Cheyenne Davis is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in French cultural studies and minoring in Africana studies. Her column "The Cheyenne Hour" runs every Monday in the Inside Beat Lifestyle section.