When You Are the Only Black Woman at the Meeting Table…

dv1924012Happy Tuesday!

Day 2 of this excruciatingly hot week on this side of the blogosphere, just as hot as the professional meeting rooms where few of us women, and especially Black women, get to, or for that matter, even want to sit in. This is a topic that it not often talked about in the media, and maybe justifiably so, as there are not many instances of women of color sitting at predominantly male-dominated meeting, or board rooms…And as much as we must recognize our accomplishments and uniqueness as Black professional women, as much as we’d like to say that we always revel in making a difference in the world, we also have to admit that the other, darker, lonelier side of the coin is also real and needs to be talked about as well…

As an African woman living in America, a professional woman like so many others, I’ve had both the opportunity and the teachable experience to sit at numerous meeting tables, from high school to college to work, where no one else looked like me. And yes, it is certainly thrilling to tread on the path of the few, to be the “difference” that others may be willing (or not) to accept. Yet let’s not forget that there is also a price to pay, a high cost for which there is no value replacement…

In my years in America as an immigrant, I’ve met many other African-American, African, Black women, who’ve made the choice, conscious or not, to sit at the meeting table. And in all our conversations, the same sense of accomplishment, covered by a depth of grief , almost always surfaced. The sense that there is much to do before more of us can sit at the same table, much to do before we can be seen as equally competent, much to do before we no longer have to battle all the stereotypes that come with being just “us”.

From the “attitude” card to the hair to our very demeanor, sitting at the meeting table where there aren’t many who look like us is what one of my girlfriends calls the “rainbow privilege”, that sunny, motivating accomplishment that makes you so proud yet so longing for more…

Are You the Only Black Woman at the Meeting Table?

 

Love Always,

Miss Awa.

2 comments for “When You Are the Only Black Woman at the Meeting Table…

  1. Déguène MBow
    July 16, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Bienvenue dans ce que je vis en Italie radioooo!!!!!!!

    • July 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Merci Radio! C’est vrai que c’est pas toujours evident, meme quand on essaie de faire de son mieux. Je pense qu’il faut qu’on apprenne a progresser de mieux en mieux pour que finalement on ne soit pas les seules, qu’on puisse encourager nos soeurs a prendre le relais. Bisous radio!

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