Am I Black or Woman/Man First?

One of my favorite things to do is listen to Black Girl Podcast. It’s the perfect thing to listen to when I’m driving or getting ready in the morning. I can not begin to tell you how I began listening to their podcast, but what I can tell you is what made me love it the very first time.

First, these five women are unapologetically Black. They are very much involved and in-love with Black culture from hip-hop to our youth.

Second, they are extremely open and honest about their experiences ranging from love & relationships, career exploration, mental health, family, and more.

On Episode 26…Sapphira, Scottie Beam, Gia Peppers, Alysha P., and Bex posed a very interesting question, “Am I Black or Woman First?”

*For the purposes of staying in context with this particular episode I will be using the term woman a lot but I would love for men reading this to think about the dynamics of the conversation and how they would personally identify.


Before I continue  follow @blackgirlpod on all social media platforms and listen to their podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, and Google. I promise you’ll love it!


Initially my response was that I am Black and a woman! Those two identities can not be exclusive or separated from one another. I am a BLACK WOMAN. Period!

However, all of these women had different answers ranging from Black, Woman…to Human! Alysha P. stood on my side by stating that she did think she could place one above the other.

Scottie Beam identified as being Black first…”…because that’s the first thing I see. Being a woman is not enough at all because I’m Black. We’re at the bottom of the bottom and because of that it’s because I’m Black. So I will see myself as Black First”, she said.

She went on to say that people look at her blackness first before acknowledging her womanhood. Sapphira and Gia Peppers agreed! Gia specifically stated that she was Black first because we are not as protected as white women. She argued that if Sandra Bland had been a white woman she would have never lost her life.

Bex, on the other hand, stated that she was “human” because growing up that’s all she knew. She did not grow up understanding gender or racial differences and she believes that we are all humans first and should not have to live under categories.

Growing up much like Bex, I didn’t worry about being Black or White because I really didn’t know if it made a difference. We were all human! I could physically see the differences and I would hear the racial stereotypes and slurs and know that they’re things that we don’t have in common, but it wasn’t something that I believed affected me. Most of us had similar backgrounds and living experiences, not to mention that there were so few non-black students that they were the minority. My elementary and middle/high school experience, I was surrounded by people that looked like me everyday.

It wasn’t until college that I became more consciously aware of my position in the world as a Black woman. It was then that I realized that I was in fact the minority and things were going to be three times harder for me! My experiences in a predominantly African American city and school system has greatly affected my experiences in life. So for me I can’t identify as human first because as an African American…It has been expressed to me countless times that my humanness comes last!

After listening to all these responses and perspectives, I understood where all these women are coming from. As a Black woman, I definitely understand the plight of being looked at differently not only for being a woman…but also being Black. It’s a double-edged sword. My Blackness greatly impacts my experience as a woman, whereas this is not the same reality for white women. So, Am I Black first? Or is it because my Blackness greatly impacts my womanhood that the two are inseparable?


Comment below and let me know whether you are Black or Woman/Man first! I would love to hear you opinion!

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Hadassah says:

    Being black is problem in America and being a woman is a problem in America. Although we have to work harder, we’re irreplaceable, hard working, loving, and great !


  2. Sheena Steward says:

    For me black comes first. Although blacks and women are both treated unequally. I need to check out this podcast. I’ve been looking for a new one and this one sounds great.


  3. For me, I think they go hand in hand. Yes, it’s hard being Black in America but being Black and woman in America is so much harder in my opinion. So I don’t separate the two.


  4. I think I can’t be one without the other because they are intimately intertwined and define each other. Great think piece!


  5. Jay Colby says:

    This was a great post I love reading about these type of discussions. For me I’m a unapologetically Black all day everyday.


  6. Leslie says:

    Black first. In this day and age I can change into a man via costume,makeup,surgeru but I can’t change my blackness. Even though we have seen some celwbrities try, it just cant be done. It cant be removed from the birth certificate. Lol


  7. Funny thing, when I think of defining myself I don’t think of my blackness. Instead I think of my role in the world and “Mom” pops into my head first.


  8. mimicutelips says:

    I’m black first and a woman second. I never gave it much thought before but I would say that is the order for me for sure.


  9. terrihugg says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. I think similarly to you. At first I was like, “How could I pick one. Can’t I be a black woman?” And then like you, I didn’t understand how the world viewed my blackness until college. I was really very naive now that I think about it.


  10. Kita says:

    For me I am both. There is no one without the other. I am black and I am a woman all at once.


  11. Interesting topic and post. I think I see myself as Black first and then a woman. This is because I believe that society sees me as Black first. However, I do believe that being a black woman is a double whammy. It’s a sad and unfortunate truth.


  12. Great question great article! I’m Black first and a woman second. I’m a proud black woman. I agree with you, society will always see us a Black first and then as a woman.


  13. Jayson Jr says:

    Interesting topic. I think of myself as man/human first. Everyday I think how can I be a better MAN or great MAN. My dream is to be remembered as a great and successful MAN. Though I think of being black second, I am aware of how much of a role my skin color play in life. I know that I’m watched closer and judged heavier because I am black. Life as a man is tough, a black man’s life is tougher, and I must say a black woman’s life is even tougher but that’s a whole different topic lbs.
    So I see myself as a MAN that is black and I feel the world sees me as a BLACK man


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