The Mule of the World: The Strong Black Woman and the Woes of Being 'Independent'

Cailyn Petrona Stewart


The Strong Black Woman stereotype regards the Black woman as a blank slate
void of human emotion with a superhuman character. However, through the intersections of race, gender and sex, this persona is detrimental to the well being and existence of the Black women as it disables her emotions and distorts her humanity in a way useful to a colonial agenda. Not to mention, the historical establishment of mental health institutions has colonial roots in
perpetuating this stereotype. In addition, the white supremacist patriarchy maintains itself by painting the Black woman as “too masculine” by virtue of her strength to still be alive despite all the violence it has committed unto her and her people. This essay critically explores the trope of the Strong Black Woman and what the myth of independence means to the racist white supremacist construction of the unbreakable Black woman.


black feminism; colonialism; mental health; stereotypes

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