Observations of an Invisible Woman

Innerstanding Isness

Yolanda Spivey

Before I begin, let me quote the late, great, Booker T. Washington who said, “Of all forms of slavery there is none that is so harmful and degrading as that form of slavery which tempts one human being to hate another by reason of his race or color.”

For two years, I have been unemployed. In the beginning, I applied to more than three hundred open positions in the insurance industry—an industry that I’ve worked in for the previous ten years. Not one employer responded to my resume. So, I enrolled back into college to finish my degree. After completing school this past May, I resumed my search for employment and was quite shocked that I wasn’t getting a single response. I usually applied for positions advertised on the popular website Monster.com. I’d used it in the past and have been successful in obtaining…

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15 thoughts on “

  1. mary burrell on said:

    I”m sure this is not something new that you already don’t know, But people need to be careful what names they give to their children. African American people just have to be careful about everything in this racist society. Being judged by your name even though that person maybe just as smart and have it just as together as their white counterparts. It sucks. But this has become clear to me that this world system was not built to accomedate people of color, especially here in America or Ameriklan as you like to call it. Just my thoughts. Reading the blog Ithought to myself, What other evil devices and tecniques to they have to keep a person of color from suceeding in life? Sister you needo this to check out the story of Dr. Christian Head at UCLA Medical School. That is a real atrocity how the racist jerks are trying to mess with this man.He is an accomplished Oncology surgeon. It hurts my head and heart to know in 2012 how they would refer this gentleman as a gorilla

  2. mary burrell on said:

    It was during roast with his alumni. They said he should’nt make a big deal of this if he wanted to keep his tenure. Dr. Head is in the process of filing a lawsuit againt UCLA check that out.

  3. Miss Mary..

    Being black in this country is a tough battle, no wonder we sometimes give up and let the system pull us under. My real name is quite Anglo sounding and on the phone not one person can guess where I’m from…the shock comes from seeing me with brown skin.

    Sad but a true fact.

  4. Mickey on said:

    Racialicious did a piece on this once about how people will alter their names by putting initials instead of their first name to avoid discrimination while searching for employment. But my thought is that even if the bigot assumes a POC is white after reading his/her resume, once they see the job candidate in person, the inevitable is going to happen.

    There is a documentary called “Blacks Without Borders” which features Black Americans who found fortune and prosperity in South Africa. One woman straight up said that one of the reasons she likes living there is that she does not have to apologize for being Black in South Africa like she did in America. Below is the trailer.

  5. Mickey :
    Thanks I’ll watch it later…and let you know.

  6. As a person pursuing a career as a Physician, the story about Dr. Head struck a nerve with me. BIG TIME!! And with a kid off to college soon, I’ve seriously considered practicing outside of the US for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that I’m just sick of the institutionalized racism so pervasive in the US.

    I also read the article linked in this post, and I too pass on answering questions about who I am when I apply for a job. When things are bad for white folks, they’re absolutely horrific for Blacks and employment is one of MANY serious issues Black folks face today.

  7. If you can find work in outside of the US, I say go for it! I never answer those questions but in NOT answering them, it raises a big red flag.

    Damned if you do…damned if you don’t.

  8. Ok…saw the trailer Mic key…I’m hearing more and more blacks say the same things about leaving the US for another country.

  9. Back in the day Jews changed their names to avoid discrimination. I used to always wonder how the last name “Greene” was a Jewish name until I realized that it was changed from “Greenberg”

    So we aren’t the first group to suffer this kind on craziness but we seem to suffer this kind of stuff moreso than other groups. The U.S. is at its core a racist country. I’m not sure if that will ever change.

  10. The thing that enrages me is the reasons why we should assimilate.

  11. One of my grandfathers changed his name from a less Hispanic sounding name as well. All cultures do this in America though I dont see many Africans/Caribbean born Blacks doing this. Interestingly, they are slowly but surely becoming the ” model Black folks” in America and I hope those of us with mainly slave ancestors aren’t lulled into believing that they are going to treat “us” any differently that white folks when hey start rising to positions of power. Check medicine, scientific research, and engineering for some examples.

    Didn’t mean to get off topic, but Blacks not born in America are the next group to give us their ass to kiss in large numbers, and I say this as a person with Caribbean ancestors.

  12. Dr…

    As a woman with Island ancestry, we REFUSE to assimilate! REFUSE!!!!
    A few relatives tried to “fit in” with much failure. The rest of us are proud, especially my mom, myself and brother, to be islanders. We’ve kept the accents, although not one person can guess where I’m from, and ask me constantly” Are you from around here?”…eat the same foods and live within our own confines of comfort.

    My mom is the proudest woman I know and she has stated many times that she “will NEVER conform.”
    And neither should you…stay proud!

  13. As the granddaughter and great grand daughter of Black men killed by “angry white law enforcement mobs” who didn’t take $hit, I don’t have it in me to assimilate. I pronounce my maiden name in the exact Hispanic dialect it was intended and started doing so in college once I learned of my ancestry. I also didn’t change my name with marriage, so I get to say it in all its Caribbean/Hispanic glory, a LOT!!!!

  14. LOL! Awesome!

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