Black women come in a variety of hues, shapes, and hair textures—and we have even more opinions. But one thing many of us have in common is that we often feel misunderstood and overlooked by a world that tends to relegate us to one angry group of second-class citizens.
Black Women Confessions is a Tumblr that was created to help Black women find their voice online. The site launched in June 2014 with the goal of being a safe haven for Black women to openly express themselves without fear of being criticized or belittled. Part social networking site, part blog, the Tumblr platform allows users to post their own thoughts and reblog or offer comments on other women’s confessions.
The confessional posts include women’s thoughts on everything from celebrities, culture, relationships, and beauty, and can be anything from salacious to downright hilarious—think, social media slumber party with besties you’ve never met! We read posts from a woman who hates Justin Bieber, a woman complaining about her roommate, and someone who said she never goes on a date without wearing a weave or wig!
Black Women Confessions is maintained by a group of administrators (they prefer to remain anonymous) who monitor all of the comments that come through the site, weeding out those they deem negative or inappropriate for the forum. Posting confessions requires users to adhere to the site’s guidelines, which include using proper spelling and grammar (no social media shorthand here!) and being kind. The admins also ask users not to use the site to ask for donations.
The site admins say they do their best to represent the broad range of opinions that come through Black Women Confessions every day, but that they often find it challenging to decide exactly what to post. “There are times when [we] know that a comment will get dragged, but it gets posted anyway, because that’s genuinely someone’s feeling. But the consequence is that not everyone will agree, and they reblog with their thoughts to let the confessor know,” the admins say.
While they read a lot of confessions that make them clutch their pearls, the admins say they are most shocked at the number of confessions they receive from women who don’t see themselves as beautiful. “One of the admins even [published] a post saying how hurtful [it was] to see, because we see these women and how beautiful they are,” the admins say. “It says a lot about the message the world sends to Black women about how to see themselves.”
Not surprisingly, Black women aren’t the only people who want their confessions posted on the site. Men—both Black and white—often want the admins to post their confessions of admiration for Black women. And, though they’re flattered, Black Women Confessions’ admins say their site only has one audience in mind.
“The blog isn’t for white people to ask about racism or how to ‘understand’ us,” they say. “If anyone wants to follow and observe, we can’t stop them, but it’s not for them.”
And for the “lurkers” on the site? The opinions expressed on their site don’t necessarily represent those of all Black women. “If there’s any message we want to send, it’s that Black women are not a monolith. We are complex and have different layers and a multitude of experiences,” the admins say.
While the admins don’t have a long-term goal for the site in mind, they intend to continue making sure Black women have a place to speak their minds.