When I was asked to write this blog, I only had 2 questions. Can I be myself and can I cuss? I don’t know how to be anyone else & I often say I cuss like a sailor but I pray like a saint. Many of the people who have ventured over to read these posts are finding a new dimension to me. I think many of them are happy to see that I am more than the song and dance they see on Facebook (that’s where most of my readers are coming from), but I also think many of them are a bit uncomfortable with the topic. The top of the page says African American Female Voice so I feel I would be remiss to glaze over the things that have made me who I am.
As a woman, pointing out the things that impact me from that angle do not make me a victim & to write about the things that impact me as a chocolate woman also does not make me a victim, what it makes me is a blogger informing you of a single point of view from the experiences that makes me think the way I think.
With that having been said, I decided to share another thing that I say. I tell people I’m confident just to the border of arrogance. Some of that is because I don’t think you can say you’re a prayer and then doubt. Faith is a confidence thing but the other reason I am pretty damned confident is because in most situations I do my best to be THE BEST.
When I was a kid, I played in my high school band. I played the trumpet & the trombone, here’s why. I tried out for the band and so did a vanilla girl, our skills were pretty much the same….crap, but she was praised because her mother was taught by the same instructor we had so she got 1st chair, there was no audition required for to determine who got 1st position, it was just handed to her. So I auditioned for All City Band (which was pretty damned tough but I learned every scale there was that hadn’t been taught in class yet, made it so I can brag that I have played Chicago’s Orchestra Hall 3 times) but at first she still managed to keep first chair in the band even though my skills surpassed hers. I then got the opportunity to play the trombone, it was after I had 2 instruments AND pointed out that I had better skills that I was allowed to audition for 1st chair. Yeah, I owned that shit.
When I ran track, there was the girl that came in a few seconds behind me but she got an award for most improved time, I got shit. So the goal, leave her ass in the wind so they would have to come up with an award for who ate the most dirt. I got so fast that I was told that when I was running that my hair literally stood straight out the back of my head. Yeah, I owned that shit.
When I stepped into the corporate world, I could grab $4M in accounts with 4 customers but the award that was given was for $4M in accounts with 17 customers for the level of tenacity & persistence required to work to get 17 people to buy. WHAT? So the decision was, screw this shit I’m going to do my own thing because before we even get started with the bullshit awards, I owned that shit.
I quit a job once when I learned I filled a double quota, black and female. I work hard, I don’t make excuses and everything I’ve done, I have done my best. Even when there were times where I knew race was an issue, I wasn’t the one to say anything, I would just make sure that next time, there could be no questions about whether or not I owned that shit. I found out about the double quota after lodging a complaint against a co-worker for point blank telling me that if a black woman was going to date a white man, he should just go marry a duck or a dog.
Whenever a black person says this is because I’m black, all of a sudden they are thrown under the bus with people working hard to discredit them and shut them down by saying you’re playing the race card, in my opinion this is just a way for them to try to make you close your mouth to make you stop making them uncomfortable by talking about race. Racism exists and to bury your head and ignore it does not make it go away. Until we can point out the things that are blatant the general public will continue to be uninformed. The way I do business hasn’t changed, my personality hasn’t changed but since I’ve started sharing things here, people view me differently. I will continue to be the song & dance because I enjoy laughing and having a great time but make no mistake society does not allow me to forget that I am chocolate but I do my best to just own shit so I can’t be denied. Therefore, when I do something well, I toot my own horn and I tease and say I can’t ask you to play in my band if I am unwilling to toot my own horn. I learned that tooting helped people stop passing me by when I had the experience, the knowledge, the talent for people who were less qualified and the qualifications are all that should matter but sadly they don’t always count, so, my goal….own that shit.