As a black woman working with predominately white women; I often feel like the gentleman pictured below, minus being a man. Day in and day out, I am often overlooked; not in presence, but in ability. The ability to be a valuable asset in the workplace.
After watching Season 2, Episode 10 of NBC's This Is Us, I saw Randall Pearson (played by Sterling K. Brown), walking onto the campus of Howard University and seeing so many black faces in one place, I couldn't help but to think of how I felt on a daily basis. When I was growing up, I had the pleasure of living in a black neighborhood and going to school with black students; therefore, I know what it is like to be surrounded by all blacks. But the workforce isn't as cut and dry as enrolling in a school in your designated zone. You can't always choose your preferred work environment, unless you can afford to be picky and wait around for that 'perfect' gig.
Being an educator in a predominately white area with predominately white teachers, and predominately white students, I can't help but physically feel the draft of white women breezing right by me without a simple 'hello' or even the slightest grin. I cannot make a suggestion or recommendation without being challenged by having my ideas put down or overlooked. Simply put, my opinion does not matter when it comes to them. My ideas and suggestions cannot and will not overshadow theirs.
This is how I feel walking into work everyday. As if whatever I say and do does not matter. I feel as though I'm walking alone most days and no one even sees me.
It's funny to me how blacks can get educated, make money, live a decent life, and still be overlooked and unaccounted for in society? Black people are seriously devalued in contribution in certain areas. This does not apply to all situations, or all black people. But from my experience, we are often stepped over; regardless of our accomplishments and input. Many black people may disagree. They may not even see the issue themselves, but know that it happens more often than you think. Just consider the other blacks that are constantly surrounded by whites, not by choice but by chance, and just imagine the sacrifices that we have to make for our voices to be heard.
I said that I wouldn't make this long because I just wanted to sort of vent to you guys because I know you understand. But it is hard for me sometimes, and this is why I come here to blog, so that I can express myself in a way that people like me can relate. I'm not here to put white people down, and not all white people think this way about blacks; however, there are plenty of white people out there that still walk around with this superior attitude. I'm not looking for validation from white people, but consideration would be a nice gesture.
Everyday I feel like Rick and the rest of Alexandria when they are under attack by zombies during the apocalypse. If you watch the Walking Dead, then you know what I'm talking about. It's like being surrounded by people quietly trying to take you down without saying much of anything. They just sort of charge at you, in hopes that you'll fall. They look at you as though you are some sort of foreign creature that magically appeared on earth and they're trying to figure out why you're here and what your plans are while in their territory. Everyday is a new experience for me and an eye opener. It shows me just how much they value me and my knowledge. And it you think I'm lying, just think about the way they treated President Obama for the 8 years he served as POTUS; and they still treat him with disrespect now, even after he's completed his term.
Comment down below and let me know what you think. And don't be afraid to share your own experiences as well. It's an open discussion to vent the struggles of being black in a white world.