People always say to me I’m not the “average black girl” because I’m so wellspoken and I’m polite, poised. Supposedly, the white man’s ideal. But, is it really a compliment, not being the average black girl or being alright for a black girl when you take away decades of negative stereotypes? “UnAverage Black Girl” I've always been told growing up I’m not the average black girl. You know, the one with the short, nappy hair, whose knees can’t go a day without lotion. The chocolatetoned girl that has to face society each day and put on a tough skin, because no matter how much she perms and straightens her hair, her good is never good enough. Fortunately for myself, I don’t fall in that category, because I speak with so much class, and not too much, but just enough sass. Just a pinch of attitude so I don’t come off like an average black girl. You know, the loud ones that are always rolling their necks and eyes, the ones that get no respect. But luckily for me, the tone of my skin is just right and my father, friends and uncles have never seen the inside of a jail cell. And when I speak, I pronounce every syllable. And my hair can stay soft without the abuse of harsh chemicals and treatment. “That must be a weave or she must be mixed, because black girls ain’t got that kind of hair.”
They say I’m not the average black girl because I’m in a collegebound graduating class, and my vocabulary includes terms besides twerk and “shake that ass”. You know, for as long as I could remember, I have always been on either end of two extremes. Either applauded and flattered by the white man for “not acting too black”
Or ostracized and mocked by the black for not “acting black enough”
To be called the “average black girl” today, I need to wear weave, a pair of Jordans and have a brood of siblings, each one with a different father. My hard work and successes are devalued when someone says, “You only made it so far thanks of affirmative action”
Because in society today, the average black girl doesn't make it in the top percentiles of the class, or get admitted to prestigious colleges because she simply isn't good enough.
Is that truly what the average black girl looks like today; somebody incapable of achieving almost anything, destined to follow in the footsteps of her big sister, who dropped out of high school at 17 when she learned she was pregnant, or her mother, who was abandoned by the father of her children, left to raise them alone. When the words “black girl” are uttered, society feeds us these horrid stereotypes, which in turn, chip away at the black girls’ resolve to rise and make something out of herself. People say I’m not the average black girl with these poor representations in mind, assuming the average black girl is a hopeless case, save for the occasional high school diploma, or maybe even an associates degree if she can handle it. “You’re pretty smart...for a black girl” is thrown at me on the daily, because according to society, the average black girl is only concerned with fighting a girl that disrespected her on
“You’re cute...for a black girl.” “For a black girl” is tagged on the end of any compliment, which somehow is supposed to put me above the average black girls