Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where Can A Black Woman Be Herself?

This morning, like most mornings, I woke up to the blinking red light on my Blackberry. Emails. Saks, Victoria’s Secret, Carol’s Daughter, Sigma Beauty…more stuff I don’t need to buy. A few good morning texts and one long text that stood out. A new friend went to an event the other night. This friend is a beautiful petite HCB; she’s driven, educated, and has an eye for fashion. The event that she went to was one that was filled with local hip hop artists, bloggers, photographers etc. Sounds like a good networking event for those that want to get into the industry right?

As I read on she went on to tell me that she was discussing the event with an acquaintance and all the girl wanted to know was if the people that she was interviewing were cute. *major eye roll* You can’t take everybody everywhere. (see here) She discussed how she didn’t dress up for the event so that she could get her work done without any distractions. Hmmm The other women in heels and makeup that did interviews weren’t taken as seriously as she was dressed in jeans and a hat.

This conversation troubled my soul and made me think where can a black woman be herself? Not at a hip hop event, surrounded by other brothas and sistas. I know, I know, what do I expect from an event that is centered around something that has become as misogynistic as hip-hop but that aside why can’t we be comfortable around our own people. Why do we have to dim our shine to be taken seriously by our own people?

We have to be Kenya McQueen’s in corporate America. Blacks, greys, taupes, and navy suits, weaves and relaxed hair to make the other people around us relaxed. We have to dim our shine in this situation to make our money and be taken seriously. We have the “black tax” working against us everyday at the “plantation”.

We can be ourselves around other black women, yet if we stand out too much we’ll have to deal with “haters” So again I say…

Where can a black woman be herself?

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