Sunday, April 19, 2009

From the hood to the board room

This morning I was having a convo with my mom and discussing how this generation has a lot to deal with. The picture to the right is a shirt from a company started by some of my classmates. Check out the website dangerousNEGRO. They have information about empowerment and great clothes. The shirt and the convo my mom had sparked this blog.

Let me preface this blog by saying I am a 3rd generation college student and went to, in my opinion, the best college in the country, Vanderbilt. My mother was an educator who taught in inner city schools her whole life and was great at it. She made the statement that I have to balance being educated and being able to relate to the hood also. Now don't get it twisted, my life was blessed and I am far from hood (ghetto tendencies come out, but rare). My mom was trying to portray the point that we have to balance hanging out with cousin "pookie" at the family dinner, but then go to the meeting with "Braxton Hollingsworth." You feel me???

We have to operate in two societies. This is not entirely about race, but economic, social, and class status. My mom and grandmother went to Historically Black Colleges, but I did not, but I also have cousins that did. I am not here to argue which is better, my opinion is to each is own. I have had other experiences that my family members have not and have been exposed to things they have not...and vice versa.

I take it even further and I work in two societies. I do research at two universities, one an HBCU and one at a majority institution. It is two different worlds and it is taking me a while to get use to. Being able to see both sides of each institution, neither is perfect, but each has stereotypes and ideas of the other...some true, some not. But being and African American who is accepted by both institutions it makes me think about the bigger picture.

I wrote all this to say, How do you accomplish from going to the hood to the board room? Make sense? How do you balance being able to keep your touch with everyone from different walks of life? The statement is general, but I hope you get what I am saying.


Anonymous said...

I moved into the hood so that I could attend Law School and it's an interesting paradigm..from the hood to the conference rooms of Johns Hopkins University. I don't know it places things in perspective for me. Humbles me.


Hello there!

This is a good question!

There are many black women online who have come from impoverished backgrounds who have managed to create new paths for themselves. They are willing to share their story.

I believe that a change in mentality and a change in priorities is essential to altering one's life path.

I don't think it is necessary to want to be accepted by all people. (I know that is not what you are saying but I was just making that point.)

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!