How will I be seen?

So the semester is coming to an end, and I constantly have this one thing on my mind.

And I know what you’re thinking. She’s talking about graduation.

And, yes, I am to an extent.

What I constantly think and worry about is if the world will accept me as a black woman.

After I graduate, will it be easier to secure a career or more difficult?

Will men consider me more attractive or will they think that I’m intimidating?

Will people regard me as a smart, passionate and powerful black woman or as someone who is loud and angry?

I know that as a black woman to not expect much because this world wasn’t made for me but sometimes I wish I could look into my future and see what’s coming to me.

As I approach this, I feel as if the jobs that I want will be over-saturated with white women.

And once again I’ll be the only black woman, and if I’m lucky, the only black person.

And even though this is something that I’m used to, in the back of my mind I’ve always wondered, “Will these people accept me?”

Will my resume get passed over because my name is Akilea and not Sarah?

Or by just looking at my address will they automatically identify me as a black woman and think I’m not good enough?

These are all things that I think about on a constant basis because they affect me tremendously.

Black people, and specifically black women, have so many prejudices toward them already.

I know what you’re thinking: Affirmative action. Blah, blah, blah. But the problem with that is, we’re constantly reminded of how our spot could’ve been given to someone more deserving.

Therefore, we should be grateful and stop complaining.

But how do you expect me to be good at my job when I’m constantly reminded of this – whether I’m hearing it from other people or the looks I receive, knowing I don’t belong?

So where do I belong?

At a lower-ranked level? Because I’m black and a woman, the two worst things you can be?

You know what makes matters worse, the cliché to just be yourself and things will happen, that they’ll come your way?

People always say this to me. But how can I ever be myself when the first thing they look at is my race and gender?

You know at this point, they already have in their head who I’m going to be.

The sad part is these are things I can’t change or hide.

I can’t hide being black or a woman. I wear it.

And because I wear it, I’ve accepted and realized that being a black woman is not my entirety.

I can be a black woman and be passionate and powerful and smart and some may see it as being angry or bitchy, but I say to them that’s their problem.

This is me and you’re going to have to accept it.