Archuleta A. Chisolm
When You Realize You're a Black Woman
After Jordyn Woods appeared on Red Table Talk with “Auntie Jada”, Black women were tasked to protect her at all costs. The interview was one of the most watched and talked about moments so far of 2019. We flooded to Jordyn’s defense against the Kardashians, while Jada Pinkett Smith let them know who’s really boss at the table.
We learned the details of the story, including the fact that it wasn’t as shocking as the Kardashians made it out to be. Without fail, the tables turned on Khloe where she had no choice but to reverse her foolishness that Jordyn was the reason “my family broke up.”
Well, what we know for sure is that goodness sometimes comes to an end. Last week, it appears that Jordyn Woods fell out of the good graces of Black women, because of a comment she made about what this experience has taught her.
Jordyn recently appeared on a panel at a Homecoming Festival in Nigeria. She shared with the crowd that all the backlash gave her a firm grip on how it feels to be a Black woman, for the very “first time” in her life.
"My little sister was bullied in school and I wanted to show her that if I was bullied by the world, you can [get through it]," she said. "I understood for the first time what it's like being a Black woman in society, and how we can be so disrespected and nobody can really understand to that extent until you have to live it."
And there it was, the words that made Black women release their protection over Jordyn Woods.
While the comment is off-putting to me, she’s not completely wrong. Rather, it does raise a bigger question about young people and identity. Are Black women taught at a young age about the nuances of being Black in America? Who are the gatekeepers for the harsh truth about the ways the media will harmfully tear down a Black woman versus a white woman?
Looking back, I didn’t have a sit down about this when I was young. Instead, my Nana and Mama spoke to me about being a lady, taking care of my things, and not living life just to please a man. Get your education, pursue your dreams, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself, and it’s okay to be smart were common talks in my house.
At Jordyn’s age, I had to learn on my own what it was like to move in room as a Black woman. I managed those nuances as they showed up. I made mistakes but learned from them. The difference is that the world wasn’t watching.
Jordyn Woods was raised in Calabasas, California and I don’t know anything about her upbringing, but if you're best friends with Willow and Jaden Smith, you're hardly struggling. In Hollywood, we know that racial lines blur and being Black can be the dance between privilege and skin color. Some Black people feel like they can transcend skin color because of status. *clears throat* OJ Simpson.
Jordyn has lived most of her life as Kylie Jenner's Black friend, a typical position held for most of the Kardashian sisters. It is a dangerous position which capitalizes on your Blackness in order to legitimize the Kardashians, but at the same time means that you are publicly cosigning a lot of the disrespect they subject the Black community to.
Now it seems that Jordyn is staring down the reality of her Blackness. Suddenly, she is faced with the injustice of not being given the benefit of the doubt. Oh, imagine that.
For almost all Black people, this is just what happens at school, at work, at the airport, in line at Starbucks or simply because it’s Monday. It's hard to know why Jordyn was so unprepared for this reality since she has in fact been Black her whole life, but now that she doesn't have the security blanket of the Kardashians, she is forced to come to terms with what that might mean.
It’s great that Auntie Jada came to her defense when she needed it. But what she really needed was a sit-down a long time ago.
As a result, Jordyn is being dragged for filth at this very moment. It’s unfortunate and even worse it confirms that support for Black women is conditional. We're here for you but only when you're being attacked by white women. Wrong is wrong but in this situation, this particular drag seems a bit much.
In all of this, we need to remember that Jordyn is only 21. Let's not perpetuate the message that if we are attacked, our people will be the ones egging the situation on. The divide-and-conquer theory makes it more difficult for Black women to stand together, which is the real issue here. Black women will scrutinize each other the most and we need to stop it.