I’ve been a Black Muslim woman my entire life. All of those identities seem to have their own job description; putting them all together sometimes is a suffocating reality.
Being Black in America comes with its own trials of tribulations, and for fun, I get the pleasure of sexism with it. Since before I could remember, I have known the stereotypes of black women and how I need to portray myself on the contrary. I’m constantly having to remind myself to watch the tone and volume of my voice. Control my temper and don’t come off angry or aggressive. Always having to be concerned about if my actions put myself, my family, and my race in a positive light.
For some extra razzle-dazzle, add Islamaphobia on top of that. While I am trying not to seem aggressive, loud, and angry. I must not seem timid or too quiet at the same damn time. Feeling the pressure to display Islam positively and progressive, opposed to the barbaric and extremist religion the media displays. Expressing I have free will and am not controlled by the men in my family. Constantly feeling the need to show how peaceful Islam is for people around me. Actually, I am always trying to make myself less intimidating.
Being a Black Muslimah can be exhausting constantly trying not to be a stereotype. Trying to conform to a person I think the world needs me to be accepted, I lost the beauty of being different and standing out.
If my true self is intimidating, then it is what it is.