Have you ever choked up in a conversation or felt tears streaming down your face in while talking about something personal? I have. In fact, I used to feel embarrassed and annoyed that the more I wanted the stop the tears, the more freely they seemed to flow. In those moments, I have felt vulnerable, self-conscious, weak, and frustrated and that somehow it meant I didn’t have it all together. I was wrong.
However, I have also worked in environments where, I have had a coworker who looks like me say “I don’t like you all (meaning immigrants)” and accuse me of receiving preferential treatment (due to Caribbean heritage) as compared to other black women. I have even had another woman who does not look like me say “your energy is shutting me down”.