Black woman, they don’t understand us. They want what we have to offer and then say that we don’t measure up; that none of us are talented enough to compare. They take our no-nonsense demeanor as being difficult. Even our men don’t get us. Say we have bad attitudes and in the words of Kanye, go and get them a white girl. Go figure.
When we grow the balls to speak up, they laugh at us. Make us out to look like fools. Call us hard to work with, disrespectful, disruptive because we’ve had enough. Because we won’t just suck it up and go with the flow.
My generation gets off on making a mockery of others. It took minutes following the NBA All Star Game star spangled banner for Fergie’s face to be attached to memes and reenactments that included Cardi B dancing in triple time (I’m not saying it wasn’t funny, I’m just saying this is the quick bashing nature of current day society). We just want to have fun. We don’t want to face the hard yet very real facts.
I, for one have encountered your genuine nature. I witnessed you and your “difficultness” after a long day of shooting your late night talk show (a show that I and my peers watched religiously), walk across a studio stage to come speak to me, a person you didn’t even know. When I told you about the plans I was contemplating, you gave me the advice, “just fucking do it” and lovingly shared your story. You were sincere. You were real. You changed the trajectory of my life with a 5-minute conversation.
I won’t censor you. I stand by you and your decision to speak your truth and to ask those of us impacted by your gift to stand with you.
Black women in the comedy industry are not given the platform to bring in the numbers of their male or white counterparts. No matter how many tears of laughter we cried during LaWanda Page’s “watch it sucka” routine or Jenifer Lewis’ “you are on my list” monologue or the hilarity of Marla Gibbs as Florence Johnson, we still have yet to gain respect as businesswomen, as creatives, and as leaders in a male-dominated industry.
What I appreciate from a comedian is an effortless ability to make me laugh. It sounds so simple but it’s rare to find. You are one of the few entertainers who can make me laugh with a genuine quality–male, female, black, white, Hispanic, Asian– you are one of the few.
In the midst of backlash, you continue to make me laugh. You continue to be a staple in an arena that does not always accurately depict people of my gender or ethnicity. You continue to be Mo’Nique, a creator of hilarious content.
I hope that your stance encourages our community to create their own; to work 10x harder, as we are accustomed to do, and generate our own revenue so that the babies after us don’t have to face the same battles. Thank you for setting the bar high and teaching us that we do not have to settle; a lesson Black women must apply to all aspects of life.
Peace and love.