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Strong Black Woman Syndrome

I am a black woman, and I am tired!

No, I’m exhausted!

I was sitting with my good friend last week, having dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. We were discussing our careers in the medical field. She’s a nurse and I'm a social worker.

Upon discussing her day, I could see the tears welling up in her eyes.

I asked, “What’s wrong, what’s going on?!”

She began to blink back her tears, in an effort to keep them from falling.

She said to me, “I’m just exhausted.”

Being the social worker I am, I continued to probe. 

I encouraged  my friend to express herself and verbalize why she was feeling exhausted.

She proceeded to explain the process of getting up every day to go to work; pouring into, supporting and helping patient’s,  in addition to trying to obtain a work-life balance.

She said to me, “It’s like I just have to keep going, even when I don’t feel like it. Sometimes I can become overwhelmed. I’ll sit at home trying to rest, and then here comes these racing thoughts. Am I really resting, am I really relaxing?” 

Boy was she preaching to the choir, because my experience is eerily similar to hers.

As two single women, my friend and I came to the conclusion that we have to keep going. Or else, who's going to pay the bills, manage the responsibilities and take care of our homes?

In no way I’m looking for sympathy by sharing this information. In fact, the point of this post is to educate the world on the daily challenges of black women. I can only speak on my experience and share it in hopes that the generalized stigma of angry black women, becomes obsolete, non-existent, fictitious, etc.

So, I repeat, Black women are tired, so much so, that I had to write about it!

We are tired of being strong.

We are tired of doing it all.  

We are  tired of feeling alone in a world that thinks we can handle just about anything and everything.

Our skin color should never define our character, our  attributes,  or our life purposes.

I’m a petite, dainty, feminine woman. I am soft spoken, and nurturing! I love to cook, set the table and buy sweet smelling perfumes and oils. I love all things feminine.

Many of my friends have described me as quiet, calm and exhibiting a silent strength. 

But that is never considered, because for so long, myself and other black women have been accused of being bitter, angry, aggressive and unapproachable.

We have been deemed less desirable and unattractive. However, I have several black friends  and family members who are beautiful, talented, gifted, loving, kind, compassionate and generous.

We are tired of living up to the Strong Black Woman Syndrome.

What is the Strong Black Woman Syndrome? Here is my definition;

Having a false sense of what strength is. Being in survival mode. Having a never ending to do list, responsibilities and task, in which you believe you are the ONLY one capable of handling. Wanting to experience rest, but in all actuality your mind is racing and you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety as you ruminate on what you could/should be doing. Desiring help, but struggling with how to ask, because of the expectation that you are strong and can handle it. Working harder than your other counterparts, so as not to be considered lazy, uneducated or inadequate.

On top of being in constant survival mode, we, black women typically experience imbalances of our masculine and feminine energies. Hear me out, not literally, but spiritually. We all have attributes of masculinity and femininity, but for the sake of not getting off topic, I will explain this. Ironically, today’s generation of 20-somethings are in pursuit of  the “soft girl era,” and  “black girl luxury.” But many of us have already been attuned to this phenomenon. Unfortunately, we were characterized as “bougie,” “sensitive” and “weak” for wanting to be treated softly, with patience, support, love and affection. Along with wanting to experience the “finer things in life", such as quality items and other apparatuses of sophistication. 

So, what exactly do we do? 

As I pose this question, I too am trying to figure out the solution. Yet finding myself stumped, baffled and perplexed.

I will say this, we can connect communally to share ideas and thoughts. We can engage in discussions on how to ask for help, ways to embrace our innate femininity, along with empowering and uplifting each other.

Having said this, I welcome you to comment below/or  email me at with your feelings/ideas. 

Thank you for your time.

Peace and Blessings,


1 Comment

As I walk into the hospital to prepare my day of work. I scroll my email and stop! Excited to see there is a new post! Yeahhh! This hit right on time. That goes to say God is so GOOD! In reflecting on this post! This is a powerful message that does not get talked about or enough light. As a black woman myself it is very important to not seek for others opinion. What you wear, how you wear it what you do and don’t do. We must seek the Father approval. Uplift, encourage, and speak up! Be that light and example for those watching. Most importantly do not judge one another but give grace.

-James 1:19 says, "Let…

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