In general, I felt as if I couldn't win, that no amount of faith or hard work would push me past my detractors and their attempts to invalidate me. I was female, black, and strong, which to certain people maintaining a certain mind-set, translated only to "angry." It was another damaging cliche, one that's been forever used to sweep minority women to the perimeter of every room, an unconscious signal not to listen to what we've go to say.
I was now starting to actually feel a bit angry, which then made me feel worse, as if I were fulfilling some prophecy laid out for me by the haters, as if I'd given in. It's remarkable how a stereotype functions as an actual trap. How many "angry black women" have been caught in the circular logic of that phrase? When you aren't being listened to, why wouldn't you get louder? If you're written off as angry or emotional, doesn't that just cause more of the same?