There is something about being a black girl that is so magical.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is nothing I would change about being black (outside of y’know racial profiling, fetishization, the wage gap for black women, etc.,).
Even with this love for my skin and culture, there are some things that can be just a bit draining. Some things, like navigating white spaces.
This is obvious, of course, but I wanted to point out a specific niche of what is ultimately a predominantly white femme space-- the girl bosses.
According to Forbes, CNBC, Bustle, Black Enterprise, etc., (literally just google it), black women make up the largest and fastest group of entrepreneurs in the United States. We starting shit, and quite honestly, killing it.
Black women (well, black people in general), also contribute such a large part to society and very rarely do we get acknowledged for it. That’s why we have Kayla Lewis, the original creator of the viral saying “On Fleek” that rappers, businesses, and multiple industries have capitalized off of standing up for herself by asking for proper retribution, seeing how she hasn’t made a damn dime since the phrase was coined.
With black women contributing so much to society, and being one of the largest groups of entrepreneurs, why is it we are so ignored in online spaces that surround femme business owners?
The face of a woman/femme online business owner is some white lady with highlights holding a “Slay” mug ( that she sells in her online shop ) to showcase just how empowered and confident she is in the business she used most of her rich boyfriend to fund in the beginning.
My point is that, here we have a white woman, capitalizing off of black culture, AAVE, and sayings, passing it off as being confident and thus enabling more and more women to do it without black women even being seen in their online content or even being considered, forget the idea of even acknowledging black women came up with this shit.
I see it every damn day.
I log onto Facebook and I see Becky promoting her online shop that has nothing but black terms and sayings on it.
“Put on some trap music and handle it.”
“Cause I slay all day.”
“Business goals on fleek.”
I see her Becky like friends promoting her.
“Yes! Love it! Omg!”
“LOOOOVE! I NEED FIVE”
“Omg this is perfect!”
They go and support it.
Then black women put out similar content, and it’s not even looked at.
The co-opting of black culture and media ( see: cultural appropriation ) and capitalization off of it from white women, drives me up a wall, because these are the same women who refuse to talk about politics, black lives matter, or really any of the issues that impact the originators of all the phrases they’re co-opting and turning into cash money.
Don’t they realize that if black women/femmes die, or we are no longer around to contribute to society, the entire platform they used for their big cartel shop no longer exists because we are no longer around to create content?
You would think at least with that they would open their mouths about black issues (read: humanity based issues) just so they don’t go out of business.
I don’t know if I’m even using satire there or not.
Having to navigate online white women business spaces is draining to say the least because every other post made reflects this. It reflects cultural appropriation, and the blatant disregard for black and black lives.
On top of that, when the same white women/femme business owners host retreats, or events, once again the faces all look the same and none of them are even slightly brown.
So, I return to my original question.
In a country where black women are the fastest growing and largest group of entrepreneurs, why are so rarely seen, heard, represented, and compensated?
Take your slay the day mug and shove it somewhere.