This I Believe

Ebony - Detroit, Michigan
Entered on June 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: prejudice, race

You don’t know me…Just what I shade in

Does the color of my skin, dictates the knowledge I poses? Does my gender, dictates the adequacy of my skills? So, why ask. Why ask such a question, when neither determine my well-being in society or in life. Every application in this country, asks these very questions. Whether it is too work, go to school, or a general questionnaire. Everyone has to shade in a response.

As we all know “Employment discrimination” is illegal in the United States, but it still exist. They even have a quote for it “glass ceiling”, I can see it but I will never get to it. Yes, sometimes they do ask you these questions for substaiential reasons as in some races are smarter than others, or men can do things women can’t. Yeah right! If someone applies for something particular, it is because “physically” and “mentally” they feel they are capable of such tasks.

My name is Ebony. Before I even discuss my physical appearance, you can tell my race and gender by my name. Yes, I am an African – American woman. Recently, I have filled out a lot of applications for jobs and to transfer to another college of my choice. And on the applications, they had something in common…gender and race. For me to be a candidate, they needed to know my physical appearance. This really incensed me and made reconsidered my place in society. I was even regretting me being a black female. So what do you do? Do you feel in your color or don’t you. Or will your name tell it all, like mine. Even today, I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know this, never stop loving who you are. There will always be ignorant stereotypes. I am proud to say, I am, Ebony Marie-Ann Ross and I am a black woman.

“That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?”

—Sojourner Truth