Reclaiming Our Light: Unraveling Internalized Misogynoir for Black Womenhood

Tai Salih (she/her)
Published in
12 min readJun 5

Photo by Divine Effiong on Unsplash

(Black Womanhood is inclusive of Black women, femmes, and non-binary persons who identify with Black womanhood.)

Beauty, like the sun’s radiant embrace, emanates from the depths of Blackness, illuminating the world with its undeniable power and grace. In the sacred tapestry of existence, Black women, femmes, and non-binary individuals stand as shimmering jewels, adorned with resilience, wisdom, and immeasurable worth (hooks, 1981; Morrison, 1987).

Maya Angelou’s words, “I am my best work — a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles, and prayers from the front lines,” resonate deeply in spaces where Black womanhood is celebrated and honoured (Angelou, 1978). They reflect the profound beauty and inherent worthiness that I see in my sisters and sistahs, shining brightly amidst a world that often seeks to diminish us.

Yet, even amidst our brilliance, heavy grey clouds of toxic denial cast shadows upon our self-perception (Davis, 1981; Collins, 2000). The world’s imposed narratives, distorted by lies, can cloud our visions of ourselves and each other. It is heartbreaking to hear the words, “This world hates Black women,” and even more heartbreaking to acknowledge the painful truth within them (Walker, 1983).

In this world, harmful stereotypes and systemic biases persist, burdening Black women, femmes, and non-binary individuals with the weight of internalized misogynoir (Smith, 2019; Hill, 2020). However, we have the power to reclaim our self-love and self-esteem by recognizing the presence of internalized misogynoir and taking intentional steps towards healing (Crenshaw, 1989; Nash, 2016).

Reclaiming our worth requires us to engage in transformative practices that nurture our spirits, seek out positive representations that affirm our beauty and brilliance, and foster supportive communities that uplift and empower us (hooks, 2015; Collins, 2000). By challenging the societal structures that perpetuate misogynoir and reframing our worth on our own terms, we begin to dismantle the internalized narratives that have constrained us (Davis, 2021; Cooper, 2018).

In this sacred journey of reclaiming self-love and self-esteem, we weave a new narrative, one that celebrates our…

Tai Salih (she/her)
Writer for

Yogi E-RYT® 500, YACEP® | Founder @ Red Ma'at Collective | Integrative Counsellor