The Invisibility of the Black American Woman

Update  01/21/2016: ‪#‎BREAKING‬: ‪#‎DanielHoltzclaw‬ will serve all 263 years consecutively @OKCFOX!


Update 01/21/2016:  This is Holtzclaw’s sentencing day.  I am anxious, nervous, and giddy all at the same time.  I am hopeful that this “man” will be rightfully sentenced and justice for the victims will prevail.  I will post what the outcome will be today.

“Oklahoma City jury found ex-police officer Daniel Holtzclaw guilty of 18 of the 36 sexual violence charges brought against him last week.” – Various New Outlets


What makes me upset about this story is the selective outrage within the black community.  This was uncovered a year or more ago and he was charged and going to trial.  We are so quick to protest and run for causes that include our black men, police brutality against our black men, death by police officer when it comes to our black men.  But let a black woman, gay black man, black transgender be violated by one of our own or by police…..then we get silence!

The law, however, is another matter. Changes in the law often urge societal progression. There are times when the law can portray one story and history another. However, history and the law both ignore the peculiar plight of Black American women. This legal invisibility of Black American women has led to their political powerlessness under the law. Thus, Part III of this Article considers how the courts have contributed to Black women’s political invisibility. Courts have been quick to discount the existence of Black women, blending them with white women or combining them with Black men. This merger then leads to continued political invisibility.”Political Invisibility of Black Women: Still Suspect but No Suspect Class by Kupenda, Simmons-Johnson, and Sebron-Williams (2010)

We have black new outlets, bloggers, vloggers, journalists, writers, etc….and you mean to tell me “yall” didn’t publicize it????  We already are aware of how the media is when it comes to black news.  Why do you continue to feel outraged at a system that will continue to see black women as invisible?

Why are we always invisible?  Why do we always come second as if our plight isn’t good enough to pursue?  Why do we have to be enraged by the media for not posting this news, instead of taking accountable for the fact that to our black men… was just rape?  I had a black men in one of my Facebook groups tell me, “that black men are more important and that Sandra Bland’s death compared to several dead black men by cops didn’t compare, that’s why there was no protests or riots for her death.”  I was outraged, but more so I was hurt.  Not only did he disregard her, as a black woman I felt invisible to him.

The black woman’s history has been invisible, crafted through stereotypes or told by white and some black male authors that really didn’t give it much research and thought, because HISTORY failed to see us as important.  We were either mammies or harlots and these names continue to carry on, even in the 21st Century.  These stories continue to follow us and was embedded in Holtzclaw’s mind, that’s why he took his crimes so lightly.  Because these patriarchal systems that have enslaved us continue to silence us, turning us into the perpetrator of this man.  After being sexually violated by him physically, the courts violated the victims mentally, politically, and economically.

“With all of the stories of the Great America, there is one story that is missing even though it is compelling and relevant to every major historical event of this country. The specific plight of Black American women has faded into the backdrop of American history, thus contributing to the invisibility of the Black American woman. This Article argues for suspect regard for a group that endures suspect treatment. Part II tells the unique history of Black American women as it relates to the determination of suspect classifications. History alone surely cannot be at fault. If history has a muted record on the role of Black American women then this must just be a reflection of society. – Political Invisibility of Black Women: Still Suspect but No Suspect Class by Kupenda, Simmons-Johnson, and Sebron-Williams (2010)

When will our time come when we will be able to read about our plight, the brutalization of us, the lynching that occurred, the sexual violation that happened during slavery and after???  When will the law and the history books and writers be held accountable for the invisibility of black women?  When will you put us first instead of thinking of us as an afterthought?




Political Invisibility of Black Women: Still Suspect but No Suspect Class by Kupenda, Simmons-Johnson, and Sebron-Williams (2010)


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