She ROCKS It Magazine Spring Edition 2021

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BLACK

Dandelions BY: NAJAMAH DAVIS, MSW, LCSW, CCTS Historically, black women have battled with a great deal of trauma, adversity, and oppression. No one could have fully prepared us for the odds stacked. In every day life, we are subjected to microaggressions and biases simply because of our gender and the amount of melanin within our skin. Black women have endured and continue to face varying levels of racism and sexism in our society. As a black woman, I often felt like I couldn’t be myself in certain environments. No matter how well I performed in the classroom or in the workplace, I always felt the need to push myself harder. I recall going to an interview for a social work position and being asked, “What are you? Your name looks ethnic”. Another time someone inquired, “Are you really black? Black people do not have hair like you.” In the workplace, black women are often stereotyped and compared to other black women despite work being the only connection between them. This is a microcosm of society as a whole. Women of color are often marginalized, overlooked or the last to be considered for opportunities regardless of their level of education, work ethic, and experience. Whereas, opportunities are given to those with less credentials and experience. Women of color have the unique experience of having to endure both racial and gender discrimination. A box within a box. Our past and future reduced to a narrative that begins with trauma

from enslavement, dismantling of the black family, sexualized violence, and police brutality. In addition to these unfortunate tragedies, women of color are relied on to protect the structure of their families while carrying the weight of a hostile world. It is in this, we find our inner strength. Black women are the epitome of RESILIENCY. There is a POWER that no one can take away from us, even in the face of great hardship. We soar like dandelions. As with dandelions, black women have endured many challenges. In spite of the barriers, sisters continue to thrive like proud warriors clad in armor and soar in the wind with our essence. We are making a tremendous impact in the world starting trends, breaking glass ceilings, and creating our own opportunities. We are advancing in our careers and making great efforts to become more visible in the executive arena. It is important that we continue to positively position ourselves to stand up in our power. Standing in power is to fight for full equality and fair treatment, no matter the cost .

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