A black woman in her early thirties has completed her shift in the city and is heading home. What image do you picture in your mind?
Where does this woman work? What does this woman look like to you? Where is she going? How is she going to get there? What will be waiting for her when she gets home? What does she do when she walks in the door?
Did you think she's got frizzy hair, is dressed with flair and in second hand style? Working as a waitress, taking the bus to row housing in a neighborhood where her friends and family have lived for generations? Is she a single Mom excited to see her kids who are being watched by her Auntie? Is the first thing she does is instinctively lock the door behind herself once she's in?
Or did you think she's college educated with a masters degree in finance? She's wearing a tailored suit and leaving the office of the biggest bank in the city where she works as a commodities trader. She gets into her new car that she got with her quarterly bonus and heads out to the suburbs. From there she has to pick up her children from the arts and science daycare because her husband is also late getting home from his job as associate partner. They meet up at their three bedroom three bath home where the first thing she does when she gets home is turn on the sprinkler system from her phone.
I know I thought of the woman in the first scenario.
Why is that?
Because we have work to do to turn against the pre-determined notions of who people are, where they should come from and who they should be.
Freedom comes from opportunity, opportunity comes from being free. - GD