I want to start off by saying that just because I state in the title that Black women have superpowers, doesn’t mean that I think other women don’t. I just know, for sure, that we do, and more importantly, what they are and how to use them.
The whole conversation around my superpowers started one evening when I was trying to put my 4 year old daughter to bed. She was upset about the room being too dark and the potential of monsters coming into her room in the middle of the night to get her. Without even thinking, I asked her the question,
“Do you know why no monsters will come here to get you?”
She shook her head, no.
“Because your mommy is crazy and I will beat up a monster, and they don’t want to mess with me” I said hoping to get a laugh and lighten her mood, which worked. “But more importantly”, I continued, “Mommy has superpowers that can get rid of monsters. Do you want me to give you some of mine?”
She took a second to think about it and then with enthusiasm, decided it was a good idea and shook her head, yes. So I walked over to her bed, got on the floor, put my hands in the air in front of me, motioned to her to put her hands on mine, and commenced with the sharing of the superpowers. I closed my eyes just enough so I could see her face but make her think they were all the way closed and took a deep breath. After a second, I started to slowly vibrate my hands so that she could feel the power of our interaction. Her eyes lit up with glee.
I opened my eyes and asked, “did you feel it?”
“Yes! But Mommy, do you still have enough superpowers?” she asked me with 100% concern for my well being.
“I have an endless supply, so don’t worry about that babe. Whenever you need some, just let me know, and I will give you some” I said.
She responded with a sleepy, “ok mommy” and we all had a good night’s sleep.
As much as that interaction between me and my daughter means to me, that’s a drop in the bucket to what my real superpowers are as a Black Woman. To be able to not just survive, but thrive in a world where 99% of the rooms I walk into were never really meant for me. They are filled with mostly white men. Grocery stores. Restaurants. Meetings. Starbucks. The boardrooms of America. In 99% of the rooms I walk into, I am the double minority, competing, thriving and in some cases, winning. That is the real superpower. Being able to thrive in an environment that was created purposefully, with rules and barriers to keep you out. Winning the game starting from behind start while your opponent got to start from Park Place.
This is the Black Woman’s superpower. This is what I am teaching my girls. This is the game I play everyday.