To help celebrate Black History Month, we are sharing essays generously provided by a Schoolcraft College faculty member, an SC alumni and an SC student. Each is featured in the February issue of BLAC Magazine.
This week’s author, Tiandra Bennett, came to Schoolcraft College after being a stay-at-home mother for many years. She decided to begin her college journey as her youngest child was entering kindergarten. Despite her many responsibilities at home, Tiandra was active in many organizations at Schoolcraft, including Vice President of Student Activities and President of the Phi Theta Kappa international honors society chapter. Today she owns her own business (T.G.B.D. Management) and has a joint venture with TNT Boxing Management.
As I’m writing this essay, I’m numb because in order for me to be in a happy place or see this life in a positive light, I have to file my negative experiences in a locked file cabinet. I only realized that I do this from talking to my sister who listened to me as I told her how I didn’t want to be viewed as an angry Black woman or my words misconstrued. This caused me to look at the racist issues that I had encountered, like making sure that I straighten my hair to go on an interview so that no one judges my outer appearance before viewing my knowledge and work ethic.
I feel the pain and injustice as I dredge up all of these memories of my child being treated differently on the playground because he is Black. Or a cashier questioning if I can afford the Chanel clothes that I was buying my sister. Or a cashier at Kroger denying my brand-new checks because she states that it was from out-of-state when it was only from three cities over.
These experiences are just a few of the many issues that African American women go through and then get up every day and dust yourself off to be better than your colleagues, fellow students or to compete in the world. The intent is to shake off the negativity because it conditions you to create coping mechanisms to deal with life’s woes.
Lastly, your perspective is so powerful that it influences and helps shape the world to be either a beautiful place or a horrific nightmare. This is why self-reflection is a must and please do your best to make sure you are doing your part in making the world the better place to coexist with everyone in it.