The Strong Black Woman has died. All that remains is a Bad B*tch! Check out this poem to tie in with today's Know ThySelf Community Conversation. 

I remember back in the day when a strong black woman meant you are someone like the stereotypical “big momma” character. But who do we look up to as being a strong black woman now? With females in the media spilling out the b**** word or other females who are getting done wrong by men on a daily and not putting their foot down, who do we look up to? Some might even say that the strong black woman has died…

Check out this poem by: Laini Mataka that my intern MeMe recited.


“The strong black woman is dead...on August 15, 1999 at 11:15 p.m. while struggling with the reality of being a human instead of a myth, the strong black woman passed away.

Medical sources say she died of natural causes, but those who knew her know she died from being silent when she should have been screaming, smiling when she should have been raging, from being sick and not wanting anyone to know because her pain might inconvenience them.

She died from an overdose of other people clinging to her when she didn't have enough energy for herself. She died from loving men who didn't love themselves, and only offer her a crippled reflection. She died from raising children alone and for not being able to do a complete job. She died from the lies her grandmother told her mother, and her mother told her about life, men and racism.

She died from being sexually abused as a child and having to take that truth everywhere she went, everyday of her life, exchanging the humiliation for guilt and back again.

She died from being battered by someone who claimed to love her. And she allowed the battering to go on, to show she loved him too.

She died from sacrificing herself for everybody and everything when what she really wanted to do was be a singer, a dancer, or some magnificent other.

She died from the punishments received from being honest about life, racism and men. She died from being called a bit-h for being verbal, a dyke for being assertive and a whore for picking her own lovers. She died from never being enough of what men wanted, or being too much for the men she wanted.

She died from being too black and died again for not being black enough. She died from castration every time somebody thought of her as only a woman, or less than a man.

Sometimes, she was stomped to death by racism and sexism, executed by hi-tech ignorance while she carried the family in her belly, the community on her head, and the race on her back!

The strong silent, talking black woman is dead. Or is she still alive and kicking? Hmph, I know I'm still here.”