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  • Writer's pictureErisa Lewis

Strong Women Are Created - #SURVIVAL - Why We Dance!

I want to clarify a misunderstanding of the word "STRONG", when used in conjunction with the term "strong woman".

Our opinionated and oppressive society is using the term to undermine women that exhibit a sense of self- respect, knowledge and ambition to overcome the continual pattern of obstacles that seek to destroy their progress of evolving.

Our development as women starts off in adolescence. Around the age of 8, our mother's focus on guiding us into puberty and womanhood. We have to learn how to be nurturing, caring, considerate, compassionate, efficient and be problem solvers all at the same time, but their is a ROAD BLOCK on this journey that NO ONE wants to talk about or acknowledge.

As young black girls we are faced with judgement on our bodies, our appearance, how smart we are, our skin color, our hair, our potential to succeed and we have pressure from the opposite sex as well, with preference of who they want us to be for them, as a "WOMAN".

Has everyone forgotten that women are naturally emotional? We are soft, gentle and impressionable, but as we are continually bombarded with pressure, we develop a defense so we can continue to thrive in this world and make it through one more day of the expectations placed upon us from society, teachers, parents, lovers, family and friends.

Should we care about what people expect of us? No, but some of us try to accommodate our peers and/or loved ones. That's pressure.

Through it all our lives become harder to manage without wanting to quit or give up. Many tears are shed openly and privately because the pressure brings us to an emotional low.

We can't please everyone and trying is breaking us down. We can't carry out all of these expectations of us if we are depressed, sad, stressed or on the verge of a breakdown, because no one is helping us with the things they expect us to do.

The only solution or choice we have under this pressure is to rise up or fail. SO WE RISE UP!

There doesn't seem to be a knight in shining armor coming to save us, because he's asking for our help too. Who is there for us? We are.

Some of us have to accept that there is no one available to lift us up, so we lift ourselves up and rejuvenate to start another challenging day. This seems to be part of today's characteristics of womanhood, so we endure and survive.

Survive? How?......We pray, we move forward and WE DANCE! We do the dance of life and take charge of our feelings, so we can keep moving.

Our ancestral history of dance is still embedded in us, and women all around the world use it's expression for release. We release these societal pressures and recharge our spirit and strength. If our expression is stifled among our peers, we will definitely NOT be silenced. That's a strong woman.

Next time you have a negative opinion of a strong woman please remember that you have your preferences invested in her as well. So take her place, help her or be silent.

This is one expression of how black women face and release the pressures we endure in life.

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