Just read a very interesting and provocative article by Sophia A. Nelson, is a corporate attorney and president of iask, Inc., an organization for African American professional women. The article, entitled "Black. Female. Accomplished. Attacked." I took particular interest in this article starting with its title and then this reference to Sojourner Truth: A 2007
"Ain't I a woman?" Sojourner Truth famously asked 157 years ago. Her ringing question, demanding why black women weren't accorded the same privileges as their white counterparts, still sums up the African American woman's dilemma today: How are we viewed as women, and where do we fit into American life?
I encourage you to read this article in its entirety. Amazing insights and truism that will no doubt continue to ring unless and until the perceptions of African American women changes. I include in this post a few excerpts to wet your whistle:
A 2007American Bar Association report titled "Visible Invisibility" describes how black women in the legal profession face the "double burden" of being both black and female, meaning that they enjoy none of the advantages that black men gain from being male, or that white women gain from being white.
At a recent such workshop, I asked the participants to list some words that would describe how they believe they're viewed in the workplace and the culture at large. These are the kinds of words that came back: "loud," "angry," "intimidating,""mean," "opinionated," "aggressive," "hard." All painful words. Yet asked to describe themselves, the same women offered gentler terms: "strong," "loving,""dependable," "compassionate."
As of 2007, according to the New YorkTimes, 70 percent of professional black women were unmarried. Black women are five times more likely than white women to be single at age 40. In 2003, Newsweek reported that there are more black women than black men (24 percent to 17 percent) in the professional-managerial class. According to Department of Education statistics cited by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, black women earn 67 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded to blacks, as well as 71 percent of all master's degrees and 65 percent of all doctoral degrees.
You may also find Nelson's website and company of interest and assistance. I encourage you to to to iaskinc.org. This is an organization "to empowering and uplifting today's Professional Black Woman." I also encourage you to check out the Iask Blog.