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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

Everyone Likes You, Until You're A Black Woman With Something To Say

While nearly 300,000 Black women and girls have been reported missing; while the government is continuing to police women’s bodies; while Black people are still being killed by the police, the internet is debating whether or not it’s right for Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade to split their bills 50/50.

In a recent interview, Gabrielle discussed the various responsibilities she has with her money, caring and providing for other households. According to her, the moment has never come when she has felt a sense of security, even after 30 years in the industry. She also talked about struggling to not falling victim to anxiety and a scarcity mindset, which can be hard.

Gabrielle, you didn’t owe us an explanation. We need to worry about our own households and splits, instead of judging yours.

Last month, we talked about Iyanla Vanzant and Eboni K. Williams with the whole bus driver thing? And how the internet got upset about whether or not she was wrong for not wanting to date a bus driver? And Iyanla trying to convince her that she’s wrong to not want to date a bus driver? We cared way too much about that argument. In the end, though, they were both right. Turns out, you gotta do what’s best for you.

So, we can’t possibly care, not even a little bit, about the way two millionaires pay their bills. It can’t be about a financial situation that only a small percentage of the world is in. People aren’t really upset over how Gabrielle splits the expenses in her marriage. The issue is that people still feel a way about her marrying D Wade after he had a “break baby” with another woman, while she desperately wanted one. And that her and D Wade are supportive of their transgender child.

The truth is, people don’t want Gabrielle to be married to a former NBA player, but still have a viable career, visibility, write books, and have an actual voice about important things. The more outspoken she’s become over the years - speaking about her life, feelings, and experiences, the less liked she’s become.

Remember how beloved Ayesha Curry used to be? There was a time when she was held up as the ideal wife - beautiful, sweet, and smiling beside her husband. At the time, she had a YouTube cooking show and “behaving” in the stereotypical way. But she didn’t have her magazine yet, nor the bigger cooking shows or numerous interviews. As soon as Ayesha started speaking, and being honest about being an NBA wife and how the level of attention her husband receives made her feel, she became a unliked. Her downfall came after appearing on Red Table Talk and admitting that she wants attention to sometimes; reminding her that she’s still got it. It’s a valid feeling, for sure, for a mother of three and being in the space she’s in. People came for her like she was the wicked witch and accused her of trying to compete for the spotlight with Steph. She’s never recovered from that.

In the 90s, there wasn’t a Black Generation X woman who didn’t want to be Jada Pinkett. After her and Will Smith married, people loved her for being a supportive wife through Will’s career, and raising their children. Everything came to a screeching halt when she decided to sit around the Red Table and talk. And even before the entanglement; before she was single-handedly accused of making Will slap Chris Rock on the Academy Award stage, she was just talking. Once she opened her mouth about her life, feelings, and experiences, she’s become one of the most hated Black women on the internet.

You know who people do love? Savannah James, wife of NBA superstar Lebron James. You know why? Because she hasn't said anything.

Early on in Lebron’s career, he and Savannah did a magazine interview where he called her his “homie”, instead of referring to her as his wife. She played along but it was an embarrassing moment. In true fashion, people came for her. It made her go into seclusion, focusing on her children and taking care of the home front. It has served her well, as people have left her alone. Now, she’s becoming more visible outside and doing interviews and getting attention. Her Instagram is poppin’ and she looks absolutely amazing. It’s good to see her in this light.

Somehow, I feel like we have to protect Savannah James at all costs. Keep her name out of our mouths and not worry about how her and Lebron pay their bills. If she wants to tell us about her life, feelings and experiences, then we listen. Allow her to do so with grace, and without our two cents.

Apparently, there’s a memo that specifically says Black women are to be seen and not heard, and, thankfully, we’ve all missed it. The more we live and speak our lives as Black women, we serve as a reminder for each other that closed mouths aren't a part of our DNA. People want us to sit down and be quiet, but it's a antiquated lesson that we never bothered to learn. Even if your table isn’t red, you still have the right to talk. And just because you’ve chosen to be in the background, doesn’t mean you can’t come forward and shine.


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