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Our Reality vs The Perceptions: Busting Myths About black African women

Pensive bAw
Photo Cred: Natural Hairstyles Tumblr

Have you ever found yourself as a black African woman (bAw) seriously smh-ing because of the assumptions made about you just based on your gender and race, or both?


Maybe you’re tasked with putting together the best Hip Hop office party but you don’t even know one Hip Hop artist or what the genre is really about. In other instances, you’ve possibly had well-meaning friends of other races who have asked you to teach them to dance yet you don’t even know how to coordinate one foot with the other. Lol!


You get the picture: who you really are is lost in who you’re thought to be.


“Many have an image of me, but few get the picture.” – Word Porn


Over the month of March, we at bAw have been sharing some myths around black African women based on questions we asked fellow bAw. If you haven’t already seen these, go ahead and check them out on our Insta, Facebook or Twitter pages.


Today’s post is going to share some of those myths that our bAwses (bAw followers) shared with us that we didn’t get to put up on social media. Thank you so much for sharing and journeying with us in seeing ourselves right.


Myth: “bAw are in relationships just for the money” – Siphiwe & Friends

Reality: We want to be with a man because we love him and he loves us. Our desire for companionship is similar to any other person.


Black African couple
Photo Cred: Flickr


Myth: “A bAw cannot raise a family and have a successful career at the same time” – Nthabiseng Mahloko

Reality: We are starting to grow into our desire for living purposeful lives which can include climbing the corporate ladder, yet we still desire to have our own families too. We desire to make a difference in the world or find a cure for a disease in as much as we want to pour into our husbands and children.

Myth: “bAw aren’t comfortable in their own skin – they want to be white. This is seen in the way we speak, music we listen to, shows we watch, and our hobbies, amongst other things” – Siphiwe & Friends

Reality: We are individuals with individual personalities, preferences and aspirations that are independent of other races or genders. Our pride in our culture and heritage is not diminished by our personal preferences or desires in life.


“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:14 (ESV)


Myth: “We are emotional and can’t think rationally” – Zoe Kunoichi

Reality: Everyone, regardless of race or gender, has the ability to be emotional because we are all human. A bAw certainly can experience her emotions in a great way but it does not mean that she automatically or always loses the ability to reason.

Myth: “We are not good enough to lead” – Hloni Mphahlele

Reality: Some of the greatest warriors and leaders of armies from ancient African countries were indeed black African women. Leadership is not dependant on race, gender or class. It is a part of someone’s nature or a quality that can be learnt or developed.


Photo Cred: Ask Naija online


Myth: “Our backs don’t break, they bend” – Siphiwe & Friends, Noxolo Chalale

Reality: We are human beings and we hurt when you hurt us. Like anyone else, our bones break too. Maybe we do have strong spirits, but there is nothing in our DNA that says we were built for suffering or that we should wear suffering like some sort of badge of honour.


Thank you ladies for sharing your viewpoints! Let us know if you can think of any other myths you have encountered or have had to live under.


Before you go, have you heard about our upcoming Natural Hair Tea event! It’s going to be one for the books! We have planned some great talks, amazing food, lovely & practical gift bags, as well as tea and cake of course J And this year, we’re partnering with Archaic Human and Earth Elements to bring you a phenomenal day that you won’t forget!


Make sure you get your tickets at Quicket by the 26th of April!


With love,

Sonia Dee