The world rests heavy and inconsiderate on the backs of black women and girls. And the world justifies this, it says "Black women are strong". " So strong it'd be a challenge to break them down”. And all the world’s people said: "Challenge accepted."
Some of us see someone take on the world and think survival equates to invincibility. This is what we do to Black women and girls and this is a kind of violence. A cruelty that shapeshifts and alternate forms. In a world with technology this advanced, it is a cruelty that knows no bounds. The internet hasn’t changed this phenomenon, rather it has simply increased its landscape. The battlefield of misogynoir has been expanded, and alongside it, the methods of protection and defense by Black women and girls have taken new forms. In a world where we are more connected than we've ever been, Black women and girls can find each other in the crowd and form leagues of friendship with ease but in that crowd one will likely encounter people with every intention of tearing you down, people who are generally referred to as “internet trolls”. Internet trolls are understood within various online communities as people who intentionally instigate conflict or offense in others through the act of posting irrelevant, inflammatory, or simply offensive messages into pre-existing online communities or conversations.
In simplest terms, trolls are online abusers, engaging in harassment and bullying on the internet under a security blanket of anonymity. Some of us are more likely than others to become the targets of these sometimes vicious and traumatic attacks. Black women in the world but on the internet, in particular, find themselves with an especially large target on their backs while navigating social media. And subsequently, the abuse they face is often two-fold a result of being both Black and a Woman in a world that has become accustomed to oppressing both and holds little empathy for those who embody the two.
This concoction of sexualized anti-Black racism causes Black women and girls of all kinds to face threats of rape, racial violence, sexual assault, the leaking of their private information, racial slurs
For many Black Women and girls, Social media functions as our First Response, diary, platform, news site of choice, forum for constructive dialogue, and connection to other Black Women from all around the world. Trolls see this and attempt to make Black women scared to use their voices and connect; They try to make us silent and isolated. Online sisterhood and the growing accessibility of the internet fights against this mission. The internet has allowed so many who too often go unheard to finally be heard and has opened our eyes to the all the opportunities for friendship, collaboration, and sisterhood social media can offer. We are not unbreakable but these connections and reaffirmations of our humanity are irrevocably etched into our minds and this is an unbreakable thing of its own.
Written By: Jordan McDonald