Black Women, Let Your Anger Out

BY JOSHUNDA SANDERS | IN THESE TIMES

It is an infuriating reality that Black women are encouraged to repress our anger even when we have so much to be angry about. When I sit weeping from anger in the office of a white male supervisor gaslighting me out of my job, when I show up as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle at an International Women’s Day event and am directed to the catering staff entrance (despite wearing a press pass), when my middle-aged white female supervisor passive-aggressively jokes that she fears I will replace her as she nears retirement age and then proceeds to fire me—I seethe silently and am reminded that to be a Black woman in America is to be constantly exposed to hostility inspired by one’s mere presence.

For years, I coped with this reality by smoking cigarettes and drinking a lot. I avoided feeling my feelings because I had no models for what it would look like to advocate for myself without unleashing the rage I had suppressed for so long.

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