Last week, body camera footage was released showing an Orlando officer arresting a 6-year-old black girl after she threw a tantrum at school. It is heartbreaking to witness how black girls’ emotions are policed at a very young age. Our society has created a world in which women are sometimes afraid of their own anger out of fear of repercussions.
In my life, the slightest indication of anger was fraught with punishment. I sat in detention after my teacher declared that “I had an attitude”; I was written up at work for speaking up for myself. Today, giving myself the right to be angry, rather than feeling like I need to hide it, has been the healthiest release of all.
Although you can still catch me releasing my anger in a punk mosh pit or two, I’ve gotten to a place where I no longer care about how others perceive me. I don’t have to hide my “ugly emotions” to make others comfortable. My ancestors marched so I wouldn’t have to be palatable out of fear of being the “angry black woman.”