Are Black Women An Asset Or Liability In A Time Of Crisis?

What do Black women bring to the table when "the shit hits the fan"?

“What you gonna do for me?
Whaaat you gonna do for me?
What you gonna do for me?
When the chips are down?”
-Chaka Khan

If you were a Black man growing up in the 1970s, 80s, 90s or 2000s, it was all but certain that you heard from your mothers, sisters, female cousins, aunties, female coworkers and of course potential girlfriends, about how “strong and independent” they were; about how so many Black women “don’t need no man”. Black women have bellowed these sentiments from every hamlet and mountaintop to anyone that would listen…and to quite a few who would prefer not to.

To make matters worse – or more interesting, depending on your point of view – Black women have a long reputation of asking the age-old question, “What do you bring to the table?” – a question asked of certain Black men (Select Fuckboys are exempt, of course) as to what qualifies them to be in the presence of such ostensibly awesome ladies. Once a staple of “Black relationship nonversation”, it has waned a bit in the face of a withering assault of social media-driven evidence that, contrary to the protestations of The Sistahood, Black men continue to do quite well for themselves. Nevertheless, like so many things so many Black women do, old habits die hard.

Whether any of us like it or not, Black women’s long reputations for their bellicosity, recalcitrance and downright refusal to be team players is well-earned and not the result of some international conspiracy to make the sistas look bad. Black women have succeeded in painting themselves into a self-isolating corner over roughly the past half-century and they have no one but themselves to blame.

So, when a viral outbreak across the planet takes place that evokes long-gone memories of the Bubonic Plague of the 14th century, it truly is surprising to observe that so many Black women have suddenly gone silent; there are online discussions of Black women that can be heard openly asking questions like, “What happens to BW when they are unprotected during a time of crisis?”. Other Black female social media personalities, activists and gadflies, have curiously gone silent. Who knew that all it took to shut the loudmouth broads up was a little bitty Coronavirus?

Perhaps what’s most interesting, are the anecdotal reports I and my compatriots in the Black Manosphere are receiving from Black men – and let’s be honest here, the Non-Select Guys that were “invisible” to the ladies – now suddenly getting “pings” from those very same Black women on their social media; guys are getting texts from long-lost sistas who curved them unceremoniously; exes are materializing out of the blue like Romulan birds of prey. Black women may be loathe to admit it, but they’re shaking in their Jimmy Choos and are looking for a certain type of brotha to help them get through the crisis – and in a very real sense, who can blame them? After all, if anyone knows that it’s guys like us who are more likely to make it through a time of a potential biological disaster, it’s the Non-Select Guys. Fair enough.

Too bad far too many Black women bring precious little to the table themselves, though.

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When Morpheus told Neo that “Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony” in the blockbuster 1999 film, “The Matrix”, brother, he ain’t never lied. As noted above, Black women are well documented seven ways to Sunday asking the “What you gonna do for me?” question, channeling their inner Chaka Khan, complete with the exaggerated headrolls and grandiose gesticulations to boot. And while there is certainly something to be said for the veracity of the question, in practice it’s little more than a way to shoo away the very brothers who can actually be useful and helpful to them in a time of real peril.

One mo’ gin, fair enough. But the times have changed – and now Non-Select Guys can themselves be heard online openly questioning, “What do Black women bring to table in times like these?” – and the meely-mouthed Sistahood’s response is quite wanting, I have to say.

There are some Black women online who argue, that what they bring to the table in these harrowing days of a global pandemic, is “femininity and domesticity” – even the mighty Coronavirus can’t bring Black women to actually mouth the word “submission”, dontcha know – and this is supposed to move the needle for Non-Select Black men to get them to come to the rescue. After all, this IS what we brothers have been saying we want from the ladies – right?

Well, to be fair and balanced…yea. But there IS one little problem with that, though: Such a desire would be operative in “peacetime”. During a time of global crisis, however, what a Black woman brings, or better yet, should bring to the table, is much more important than the absolute bare female minimum of not being a bitch. Let’s consider what some of those things could be, shall we?

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1. Right off the bat, far too many Black women aren’t assets for the simple reason that they’re already bringing a truckload of liabilities to the table in a time of crisis. For one thing, they don’t prep or plan for such things; most Black women have a “let the good times roll” attitude, fueled in large part by equally large helpings of (Black) Feminist ideology on one hand and the the heavy hand of the Welfare State on the other. This extends even to Black women who work in the healthcare field.

For example, one Black career nurse of my acquaintance who is something of a social media butterfly herself, recently disclosed to me via my YouTube channel that she was “thankful to have a husband” and had to admit that all I’ve been saying along prepping lines and the like were true. My response to her, was to cite a fellow nurse in her profession, who unlike Black women, has used the awesome rallying power of social media to assist her White sisters in preparing for times of want. This White woman is known online as “The Patriot Nurse” and she has somewhere over 350K subscribers on YouTube and well over 1500 patrons on Patreon. She travels all over the country giving seminars and workshops, teaching other White women how to be in effect, field medics in times like that which we’re facing right now. I then asked this lifelong, career Black nurse why she and other Black women like her, weren’t following suit, especially since it’s long been recognized that Black women as a group, are among if not the biggest users and consumers of social media(!).

Of course, I never got a response.

Yet, as I’ve pointed out above, this same Black nurse can be seen and heard online, taking issue with my simple observation that far too many Black women are too fat for their own good, to say nothing about Black men’s, following the Black Manosphere around yapping at our heels like an annoying chihuahua. She never thought it important to do what the Patriot Nurse has done – even when the viral wolf is at the door.

Nor should this be in any way surprising. The city of Chicago’s first recorded death from Coronavirus was that of a Black nurse in her early 60s; she had also suffered from asthma and her family members mistakenly thought that she was having more difficulties along that line until she would up dead – and potentially putting the rest of her family at risk as well, since she exposed them to “the ‘Rona” (“Retired nurse from Chicago’s South Side state’s first COVID-19 death” WGNTV, Mar 18, 2020). Talk about the cure being worse than the disease. Sheesh!

Hence the first problem with Black women in a time of crisis – they don’t plan, they waste lots of time on dumb stuff and they’re barely competent at what they do despite doing it for decades, potentially endangering everyone around them in the process.

2. As noted above, another major liability Black women bring to the table is their girth. I’ve been saying for years on the air that Black women have a serious weight problem – and have been getting all kinds of grief for merely pointing out the obvious. But in a time of crisis, being “thick” (A gross, pardon the pun, distortion on the part of Black women to really mean obese) could be a matter of life or death.

Aside from the obvious fact that they’re food prepping skills are severely lacking, the other major problem here is with mobility. Survivalists, preppers and the like understand well the need to “bugout” when necessary; there are even backpacks and the like that carry the same name in the community. I have made quite a few myself and have instructed others how to do the same in my many podcasts I’ve done on the matter over the years.

Well, “bugging out” often entails you being able to make it from your secure location to another one, on foot, in a relatively short period of time. My own personal rule of thumb is to be able to “hump” roughly 40 lbs. of gear and supplies on foot, regardless of weather conditions, for a minimum distance of roughly five miles in about an hour, give or take. The burning question has to be, how many Black women in their current obese state, could do that? To ask the question, is to answer it – and make no mistake about it, if you have to “bugout”, it’s for a very good reason. And the more you’re out and about, the more likely you are to be a target by desperadoes out on the make to take what you’ve got – which would include the Black woman beside you. Rape and pillage will very likely abound in a “Shit Hits The Fan” scenario, so it’s very important that if you have to bugout, that you make it from point “A” to point “B” as quickly as you can – this isn’t a leisurely “walk in the park” that Jill Scott swooned about lo those many years ago.

Far too many Black women are simply unfit for the enterprise – and by extension would put anyone they’re with at serious risk. Even the most skilled of combatants cannot fight with what essentially amounts to having one armed tied behind your back, because the Black woman you’re with is too fat to move quickly, if she can move at all.

3. Another major liability far too many Black women bring to the table is their kids. Now, there are some Black women who bring kids to the table as a result of a bad marriage; fair enough. But, we all know that is increasingly NOT the case. Most Black women today bring kids to the table as a result of one or more trysts with Select Fuckboys, who would be a headache in peacetime; in a time of crisis such as we’re facing right now, they’re more akin to terminal cancer.

Aside from the usual nonsense one has to put up with in such a scenario, in the current situation, every new person you introduce into your space is a potentially new vector of disease. Most Black women who have kids have more than one – so at bare minimum, you’re looking at two vectors of disease (the Black baby mama and her kid), and as many as five or more(!) (“Pressures mount for Charlotte mom as coronavirus hits”, Charlotte Observer, Mar 19, 2020). Simply not tenable or acceptable, no matter how you slice it. With no ability to test for the disease upfront if at all, every person you come into close contact with for any appreciable length of time, is a vector of disease for YOU. Contract “the ‘Rona” and you could very well wind up dead inside a week in a scenario where being able to get access to 21st century medical care is scarce to nonexistent. No thanks.

4. Speaking of vectors of disease, another thing many Black women think they bring to the table is their sex – and while that would certainly move Select Fuckboys and just plain idiots, we Non-Select Guys know better. In a SHTF scenario, sex just ain’t that high on the list of priorities; we’re concerned with other things – you know, like staying alive? Yea, that – so while being able to twerk and make your booty clap and pop is definitely nice during peacetime, during a crisis it’s little more than a distraction and whistling by the graveyard…which brings me to the big point.

As the Coronavirus outbreak is still very new, the possibilities for it to change and mutate are considerable; indeed, there is evidence already that it could be transmitted not just from the “corrupted air” that we might breathe in from others so infected, but by bodily fluids that accompany intimate sexual contact, such as saliva, blood and fecal matter (“Fecal transmission may be responsible for coronavirus’s rapid spread”, Fortune Magazine, Feb 20, 2020). That means, that even if Black women suddenly became feminine, submissive and put out for the Non-Select Guys on-demand, there is still no accounting for the very real possibility that such Black women could be a serious health risk – maybe even a lethal one. Even if they themselves aren’t at present sick and are instead asymptomatic, they could still be carriers of the virus and transmit it to YOU, during intimate sexual contact. This is nothing to play around with, as Black Americans have the highest rates of STD infection to begin with well before the public knowledge of the Coronavirus – add it to the mix, and you’re looking at a toxic cocktail that could knock your socks off…and put you six feet into the ground (“Which state has the highest infection rate of gonorrhea? Mississippi”, WLBT, Oct 9, 2019).

There’s more and I could go on, but by now you get my point. Simply put and sad as it is to say outloud, the harsh truth is that far too many Black women not only bring precious little to the table that could be useful in a time of crisis (Please remember, most Black women, including those who do it for a living for God’s sake, couldnt even be field medics!), they actually bring far and away more in the way of liabilities – and in SHTF times, your margin for error is small. One little mistake could make the difference between life and death, especially given what we’re up against right now. In short, if you’re a Black woman and you’re looking around for those smart, boring and stable Non-Select Guys NOW, you’re already too late, sis. Which brings me to the final part of today’s column…

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Like what you’re reading now? Wait till you see my very first book, “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”, which comes out Summer 2020! Here’s YOUR chance to help me bring the dream to life, by supporting “The Book of Obsidian Fundraising Campaign”! All the details are over at Now, back to the article!

Perhaps the biggest lesson of all during this time of crisis, is that of the old adage from the prepping world: if you’re looking to “prep” when the disaster hits, you’ve waited too late. When it comes to Black women, the same principle applies: if you “need a good Black man” when your ass is in a sling, YOU’VE WAITED TOO LATE. Putting all the emotions and bad blood aside, the simple reality of the Coronavirus, its transmission and the country’s lack of ability to test for it in a broad based way, simply means that no Non-Select Guy worth his salt is gonna want to take a gamble on you, ladies. It’s been said before, but if we don’t already know you, we don’t owe you. (“If I Don’t Know You, I Don’t Owe You”,, Dec 2, 2019). It may be macabre, morbid or even mean to say, but perhaps we need some bodies to hit the floor to drive home the very important point, that the single best thing any Black woman can do to ensure her survival, is to attract and retain, a good Black man, BEFORE YOU NEED ONE. That will require a “refit” of Black women’s priorities – and maybe a global pandemic is just what the doctor ordered. On the other hand, if not, then maybe Black women have truly gotten what they’ve deserved. I’m just saying.

In case there are those who will read my words and think that I’m overreacting just a bit, consider this: All estimates by world recognized leaders in the domain, have agreed that it would take at the very least, roughly 18 months from our current position in late March, 2020, to safely develop a vaccine to the Coronavirus. That means, at best, Fall, 2021(!) – quite a bit a daylight between now and then. Which would also mean, that there will be many Black Americans that are very likely to be infected, to be carriers and transmitters of the disease, and will die. Quite a few, will be Black women – the very Black women who were talking all kinds of “I am woman, hear me roar” smack only last month. Maybe if those Black women were nicer to the Non-Select Guys, they wouldn’t be in the dire position many of them find themselves in right now? Just a thought. 

If there is a lesson to be learned here, especially for the ladies, it’s this: that in nature, life is often mean, brutish and short. And Black women, more than anyone else, have been sheltered – there’s that word! – from the harsh realities of Mother Nature.

May this lesson of history be taught to Black women of future generations.

Now adjourn your asses…


Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host, newly minted dating coach and soon to be book author. You can catch his daily live shows on the global livestreaming radio website Mixlr, as well as the all-new members-only Obsidian Radio Zoomcast, and his podcasts on YouTube and Black Avenger TV, as well as his weekly dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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