Why The “Strong Black Woman” Stereotype Is So Dangerous

In the latest, special bonus episode of Go Off, Sis, the podcast from Refinery29's Unbothered, VP of Communications Chelsea Sanders and her cohosts work to dismantle a dangerous prevailing stereotype: the "strong Black woman."
"'Strong' is not the rent you pay to exist as a Black woman in this world," Sanders says. "You don't owe the world your spirit if it means breaking it. You don't have to sacrifice your body for someone else's benefit. And sometimes, as tough as it might be, you have to let people down to lift yourself up. I don't mean give up, but I do mean give in. Give in to the fact that you are one person and that your responsibility as a Black woman, first and foremost, is to yourself."
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Later on in the episode, actress and singer Kiersey Clemons talks her new focus on prioritizing her own wellbeing. By staying true to her purpose, choosing projects that resonate with her (like the upcoming film Antebellum), and setting boundaries, even with her family, Clemons says she's been able to “ride the wave” during this turbulent time.
"My mother is white, and...I'm watching her have realizations," Clemons says. "I think that it's interesting that it didn't take having Black children to have a realization, but it took a literal uprising and a revolution, which is really weird. That's fine we're unpacking that, I love my mom. But...it's like everyone's switches got turned on or they got unplugged or something."
For an enlightening, affirming conversation that might just expand your own mind, listen to the latest episode here.
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