Unfortunately, for Black woman, being “strong” is a double-edged sword. It is a descriptor all too often used to in fact ignore Black women’s emotional, psychological, and physical pain by saying that she is a “strong” woman. It’s also used to alleviate feelings of guilt for not respecting and/or addressing the emotional needs that Black women have in the same way that any other race of women do.
It’s significant then, that singer Willow Smith, daughter of Will and Jada and co-host of Facebook’s Red Table Talk, is embarking on an artistic endeavor that will highlight the fact that Black women and girls face the same sorts of mental health issues as others, and should be met with the same level of compassion and access to help. Smith herself hasn’t stated that it’s geared toward Balck women but to have a Black woman be the face of such an event is impactful in itself.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Willow talked about her battles with anxiety, saying t was so bad she ended up shifting her vertebrae and still suffers neck pain from it. She fights anxiety now, through meditation. The point of her art performance she said, is to raise awareness.
Starting Wednesday March 10th at 9PM Pacific, Smith and her collaborator Tyler Cole, will be staging a performance art event at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, where she will spend twenty- four hours (yes, twenty-four) in a box phasing through eight emotions; paranoia, rage, sadness, numbness, euphoria, strong interest, compassion and acceptance.
They will be sleeping and taking bathroom breaks.