Are Black Women Dying to Redeem Black Men?
We’ve been trying to make partners of our oppressors for centuries. Black women, it’s not working.
When 28-year-old Brianna Tierra Johnson met 35-year-old Fresno native Victor Campbell Jr.; she probably thought he was an attractive, albeit troubled Black man. Over dating app Plenty of Fish, the pair exchanged stories and past lives, and despite Victor’s troubled past, the two decided to move their casual dialogue to more serious subject matter; a relationship. Victor, who had recently served time for family violence, had little to leverage, well, other than being a man. But Brianna had accomplished quite a bit at her young age.
Leaving family and home far behind to pursue a degree in criminal justice, Brianna graduated from Texas Southern University at the top of her class. Making Houston, TX her home away from home, Brianna would quickly begin a college administration career, simultaneously building a buzzing around her beauty and lifestyle blog, where Victor occasionally made an appearance. According to friends and family, Brianna had a lot of good going for her but felt something was missing: a man. And as loved ones gathered together on November 29th for a tearful memorial in her memory, they questioned if, perhaps, Brianna was wrong. We haven’t said Brianna’s name, and for the most part, we’ve stopped saying the others too.
Police brutality is a sensitive subject, but homicide at the hands of the men who profess to love and protect us has almost become our dirty little secret. Brianna’s murder makes her one of the thousands of Black women to lose their lives in pursuit of love in just the last two years. Not only is homicide the number one killer of Black women, but our rates are also twice as high as everyone else’s, and even higher when we’re pregnant. And when the data says we’re dealt these blows at the hands of our intimate partners, lovers and husbands, we’ve got to ask ourselves if we’re dying to redeem Black men?
1. Black Men Are Bullies
This may not go over well with most, but Black men are bullies. Stop. Take a breath. We move. Now, I mean that in the most literal sense of the word, and by definition, a bully is simply someone who makes a habit of harming, coercing, or intimidating those whom they perceive to be weak or vulnerable. Stop. Take another breath. Bullying is ongoing, deliberate, and intentional. Bullies know that they’re bullies, and they take pleasure in that perceived power. Bullies aren’t born; they’re built, made under the weight of a whirlwind of childhood trauma.