On the heels of his emotional farewell speech that rounded out his tenure on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah thanked Black women for shaping and educating him when it comes to the political, economic and cultural climate of the world. However, several Black women on TikTok have called his words disingenuous.
Last week, Noah stated:
“This is random for some but special shoutout to Black women. I’ve often been credited with having these grand ideas where people are like, ‘Oh Trevor, you’re so smart.’ And then I’m like, ‘Who do you think teaches me? Who do you think has shaped me, nourished me, informed me? From my mom, my grand, my aunt, all these women in my life. But then in America as well, I always tell people if you truly want to learn about America, talk to Black women.”
“Unlike everybody else, Black women cannot afford to fuck around and find out. Black people understand how hard it is when things go bad, especially in America. But any place where Black people exist, whether it’s Brazil, whether it’s South Africa, wherever it is. When things go bad, Black people know that it gets worse for them. But Black women in particular, they know what shit is genuinely.”
Not all Black women believed Noah’s words should be taken at face value. One TikTok user, @thecindynoir, acknowledged that while some felt seen and appreciated by his remarks, the host isn’t the “first Black male to pull this stunt” and “praise Black women for our emotional and mental labor.”
She also pointed out that for her, the sentiment doesn’t feel good coming from Black men who are known for not dating Black women. The post, which has received almost 19,000 likes, contains a message echoed in other videos on the platform: Black women are frequently relied on for our emotional support and labor—but absolutely nothing else.
Not all Black women feel this way. Another TikTok user, @tinytoraaa, insisted that it doesn’t matter who Noah dates since he uses his platform to uplift Black women. She also stated that Black people in general have more important things to worry about than who the host is romantically connected with. There is no right or wrong way to feel about Noah’s words.
However, it is interesting to see what Black women are acknowledged for—since it usually involves how useful we are to others.