Black women are especially angry.
This is a trope. “Congratulations to Maxine Waters, whose crazy rants have made her, together with Nancy Pelosi, the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party,” President Trump tweeted in July. In schools, a 2017 report by the National Women’s Law Center found, black girls are 5.5 times more likely to be suspended than their white female peers. A racist Australian newspaper cartoon depicted Serena Williams’s quarrel with a U.S. Open umpire, which helped cause her defeat in the final last weekend, as a tantrum.
But a 2009 study found that black women exhibited no more or less anger than a control group. And in that Esquire/NBC survey, 56 percent of blacks and 66 percent of Hispanics reported getting angry at least once a day, compared with 73 percent of whites. Fifty-eight percent of white women said they’d experienced increasing anger over the course of the previous year; only 44 percent of nonwhite women said the same. “There is no meaningful difference between black and white women in reports of elevated anger,” concluded the most recent study, conducted by Elle magazine this year.
Microaggressions against black women do appear to raise stress and anger, but, largely because of experience in navigating that form of discrimination, black women are more likely to suppress displays of anger to avoid being penalized for seeming emotional and irrational.