We All Wanna Eat: Why Black Women Are Reluctant to Help Other Black Women Succeed

Photo credit: theodysseyonline.com

Walking into my first day of work 2 years ago, I was met with side eyes, stares, and a sense of disdain. Many (not all) of the black women that worked in my office had decided, within that first week, that I wasn’t worth getting to know. This, of course, was not new to me (ahem.. Dear mean black girls). It was something I’ve dealt with my entire life. When I attended a new school, started a new job, entered a new group of black women of any caliber; there was this dangling sense of who is she and who sent her to take my spot.

Over the years, I’ve wondered, why does it seem like success in the black female community is something that we all can’t enjoy together. Why does it have to be this exclusive entity not accessible to all of us. It is frustrating as hell, especially in a field like writing/blogging where you want to work with others but there is a road block that never goes away.

It dawned on me, after my last run in at my office job. I walked into that office bright, happy, eager, driven, and ready to get shit done; like most of the other black women there. I was competent and smart just as they were. But, the issue isn’t that I am better than them or smarter than them. The issue is that we have been conditioned to believe that there are only a handful, if that many, seats available at the table of success when it comes to black women. If one of us wants to eat, someone else needs to starve. We aren’t taught that, by pulling up our fellow black women trying to do something great, we too become great in the process.

When I walked into the door that day, those women didn’t see an able bodied, smart, interesting team member. They saw an opponent. A challenger there to take the prize, no matter how small it was.

I don’t want to perpetrate or contribute to that anymore. I want to be a part of something greater where we help each other grow and succeed and know that there is enough for us all to eat and prosper. We build our own tables of success and decide how many can sit there.

How do you think we, as black women, can change this? 

3 thoughts on “We All Wanna Eat: Why Black Women Are Reluctant to Help Other Black Women Succeed

  1. Hear, hear! I think we have all experienced this on some level.

    I think the best we can do is stop with the cliques. From middle school, there has always been some exclusive cool clique, right? We have to just be open to letting people in. Only then can we decide if they’re worth getting to know. I’m sure those who are closed off missed out on friendship or a good business relationship by turning their noses up to the new girl. And for what?

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel the same way. We do have a tendacy to knock each other down rather than just coming together. And we all know where that stems from. We were not taught that, so you can”t perpetrate something that you no nothing about. But i feel like this is something is is taught and studied. It starts when you are small, and i dont think that parents realize how smart their kids are or how much they ACTUALLY WATCH US. you have to drill it into your kids that everyone can succeed, and you dont need to side eye one person (especially one of your own) just to get ahead. Don’t be in competition with other people be in competition with yourself. You should be living every day trying to be a better version of yourself. we gotta do betta thou..smdh


  3. I feel you. I think communication is the first step to changing things. There definitely is room at the table of success for all black folks. Unity can really make a big difference.


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