“You have to go above and beyond while representing the people who look like you” – Denise Ssettimba
Denise Ssettimba comes from a Ugandan home and has navigated what it means to be a Ugandan woman while living in American society. I interviewed her to understand how her Black Woman Experience in America has molded her into who she is now.
Mothers in Black culture play a huge role in the shaping of their daughters, especially in American society. Ssettimba explained that because her family is Ugandan, her mother never taught her what it means to be an African American woman. Her mother taught her what it means to be a woman whereas living in America forced her to learn how to be a Black woman. This gave her two different perspectives of her identity.
“Being a woman is always being together, treating people with respect, and representing your family, “She said,”What I’ve learned about being a Black woman is you have to go above and beyond while representing the people who look like you”
Even though being a Black woman is being a representation of your community, Ssettimba also determined that the identity comes with having to break barriers.
“Expectations of us are stereotypical and it’s really difficult because as a professional, as a student, you have to always show that you are more than what people expect of you, “She said.
Recently, the media has showcased the Black woman’s plight through tv shows and podcasts, like “Insecure”and “Black Girls Therapy”. As these shows open discussions about the struggles of Black women, Ssettimba believes that it’s long overdue. She shed a light on how Black women’s struggles are ignored compared to others.
“Black women are forgotten in the discussion but constantly are the ones to pioneer the discussion for future generations, “Ssettimba said, “We work so hard for our black men sometimes they don’t work for us”
As the Black woman’s plight continues to be heard throughout society, Ssettimba realized that the identity she has learned to grow into is an important one for future generations. Not only does it help you know who you are in life, but it will inspire others.
“By claiming your identity as a Black woman, you make your own mold and it helps seal the foundation for those to come, “She said.