As I prepared to write about the diverse life of black women or women of color. I wanted to know how many women shared similar life experiences as me around the world. How many women of color were there across the globe?
This was a statistic I couldn’t find. I found numbers for the United States but not too many other countries.
This made me wonder why.
Why couldn’t I find the world population of black women or women of color? Was it because in most countries no such distinction is necessary? For instance, in Nigeria, is there no need to take a race census when much of the country is black. Thus having to take a country’s population of women then add the numbers from the US. This made my head hurt. So, I stopped.
Then I started to wonder how it felt to live in a country where everyone shared high levels of melanin. In this environment, diversity would be extremely different from those I have encountered in the US and the UK. Would I have less to worry about with race or my skin color if it was taken of the equation. Would diversify also take on a different meaning. Would it therefore mean diversity of thought and mind would take dominance over my skin’s complexion. Would more attention be placed on traits and features that can’t be seen.
Instead, would my income, intelligence, education, personality, physique would now hold places of high regard. My skin tone and all the things that have transpired to make one mistrust me or be uncomfortable around me would cease to exist after reading my name or seeing a picture of me. Would the immediate label of “angry black woman” no longer hold weight. Would I no longer be perceived as aggressive before someone knows me.
I would just have to worry about thing. Being a woman. My battles would decrease. I would only have to worry about fighting biases and prejudices based on my sex and the color of my skin too. My worries would still exist but maybe I would now have time for joy and happiness at work or entering rooms with unfamiliar people instead of the worry of how properly handle micro aggressions by my boss or if I should code switch. Instead, being asked “If I can touch your hair” I would hear how nice my hair looks.
Unfortunately, that luxury doesn’t belong to me because I live in a country where my diverse life is heavily weighted by the color of my skin. When I meet others who look like me from countries with dominant black populations, I celebrate this difference and mentally I stand and applaud you as I listen to your stories and struggles that differ from mine but have a common thread that ties every woman together.