An exceptional woman who once worked for me as a paralegal, had been in the Army before that. There is an Army saying that goes: It rains in the Army, but not on the Army. That means soldiers power through, whatever the obstacle. They move so fast, the raindrops don’t even touch them.
That fit my friend to a tee. Any organization would have been lucky to have her.
My friend shared with me that she had been the only black woman (often the first and only woman) in all the classes or programs she ever attended. She refused to declare her race on any form determining eligibility for affirmative action. Yet the assumption was always made that she could not have qualified on merit alone.
I worked for years in inner city Philadelphia, and still love the children I came to know there. Most of those children are black. All are still living in poverty. But children are not born with the knowledge they are supposed to be inferior. They have to be taught that.
The “firsts” matter. The comedian Kevin Hart, the actor Will Smith, the singer Patti LaBelle, the songwriter Teddy Pendergrass and hundreds of thousands of other successful people were all from Philadelphia.
But children are not born knowing that either. They don’t know that Thurgood Marshall served brilliantly on the Supreme Court or that Shirley Chisholm was a vocal advocate in Congress. They have to be taught that, because all they see around them are shattered dreams.
I question why women of whatever color are still required to expend superhuman effort, to make any small headway. I question the glacial pace of change. I’d like to live long enough to see it. Whether I’m here or not, I’d like the children I love to experience it.
This post was inspired by one titled “Primary Colours” by Marie Williams.
You can find it on Marie’s website Come Fly With Me at https://mariewilliams53.wordpress.com .
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com