I Wasn’t One of Them

I never thought that it would affect me.

When I first came to Buffalo, NY, I would vaguely hear about its history of division and discrimination.

Most of my peers on campus were from the New York City area so I never felt like I was far away from home. Even though cases of discrimination goes on in Long Island, people are a little more liberal, so I never felt threatened by anyone from another race.

One day I learned that being a minority in Buffalo has its adversity. I applied for a retail position at the Galleria Mall and I was excited because, I was confident that I would get the job.

I ironed by best attire and headed to the interview with high hopes. I prayed before I walked into the store and noticed that there was a lady who appeared to be the manager waiting by the registrar.

She walked me to the office so we could start the interview.  She started asking me questions about school and telling me about her experience working in New York City and the cool people she met. It was kind of weird that she talked about herself a lot but, I didn’t mind.

Then she started to get a little more personal. She began to ask me about my family. I was hesitant to answer but, I answered the questions anyways.

“Do you have a father?”

“What about a mom?”

“Did you all grow up together?”

“Why wasn’t your father around?”

At this point I grew uncomfortable so I tried to change the subject. I asked her if she wanted to see my resume so I could talk more about my credential but, she declined my offer.

She said that she wanted to know more about me. She then asked me if I had an internship. When I told her no she suggested that I focus on that rather than apply for the job. A part of me thought that she was genuinely concerned until she started talking comparing her life decisions to mine bragging about her days working in New York and what she accomplished in the past.

At this point I knew that this interview was a disaster and I was sure that I would not get the job. A part of me wanted to tell her that I thought that she was out of line and that her questions were unprofessional but, I stuck it out.

She started asking me questions about when the store was founded and how it began. I felt ashamed that I didn’t know the answer until I realized that she didn’t know the answer either. She pulled up the company’s website and read the answers to her questions off of the computer screen.

After a long 20 minutes of being interrogated she told me that she didn’t think that I was a good fit for the company. I walked out of the interview feeling inferior and did not make eye contact with the employees whose eyes were glued to me when I walked out.

I knew deep down I wasn’t going to get the job from the moment I stepped into the store because I didn’t see anyone who looked like me. I stuck through it and hoped for the best despite my intuition.

Maybe I can be the one that adds diversity here. Maybe I can be that person who can close that gap, I thought to myself but, the reality is, we have a long way to go. I was qualified for the job, I talked well, and I was prepared but, that wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t one of them.

If you ever experience employment discrimination of any kind you can contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for more information.

To share your story you can contact me on Facebook or Twitter.


The Real Reason Why Ladies Only Want Guy Friends

We all know that one girl that we can not stand.

The girl that sleeps with everyone’s man. The girl who is super loud in the morning for no reason. The girl who thinks she’s “all that” because she is Instagram famous when we all know she bought her followers. Or the girl that is always mad for no reason.

Well you know what, that girl is not the problem. Yes, I said it she is not the problem and here is why.

In society women are taught to hate one another from the times they are born. We are taught to compete with one another to be the best.

I use to be that girl who hated other girls because, I believed that other girls were the problem. A few days ago I came to the conclusion that I am a part of the problem. For me to hate another woman because of her faults would make me a hypocrite. We all have been that girl that we hate at one point in our  lives.

Someone once told me that we hate people because, we see something in them that we hate about ourselves. We complain that we can’t stand it when girls are shady then, brag when we throw shade as if we have that right. Everyone has looked at someone at-least one time in their life and mentally judged something about them. Shade has no gender, anyone can do that.

We have to change our minds and learn to love one another despite our flaws. We all have flaws and when we hate someone, we have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves why. Even though we are taught to compete with one another we can reverse that. Stop giving in to the ways of society and be yourself.

There is only one you. When you are yourself, you don’t have time to put other woman down because, you are in your own lane. When you stay in you own lane you understand your value and encourage other woman because you understand that they are not a threat.

Making It through the Darkest Hour

The darkest hour has a way of exposing your pain.

The darkest hour knows how to make you look him in his face. The darkest hour separates the weak from the strong because he will either make you strong or tear you apart.

I made it past the darkest hour because I’m here today and so did you. But the funny thing about the darkest hour is that when you think you’ve met him sometimes he come back stronger and with a vengeance.

When you meet him again you have to be strong. We often find ourselves caving our pain inside and taking on the world with an artificial confidence. In order to be prepared for the darkest hour we have to let go of the pain from the past because healing builds strength. When you are able to walk away from a closed door with closure then you will be equipped to face whatever is in store in the next door.

When you have a better outlook on life it’s easier to get past challenges because you know that pain comes and go. With wisdom you can approach any obstacle with a warrior mentality. The warrior mentality is the mentality that you can conquer any obstacle that comes your way.

When the darkest hour comes know that an hour is only a spec in time and you can get through it.

College Is Almost Over

My First Week of Spring Semester

Today I am proud to say I got through the first week of my last semester in college. For all the tears, internal anxiety attacks, panic attacks and all-nighters, I am happy to say that I am almost at the finish line.

But there is a catch. I have to keep it real with you guys so I have to let you know that I won’t officially get my degree until December. Unfortunately, I am a couple credits behind so I will be making them up online in the fall semester, but that’s fine with me. When you’re on your journey to success there will always be roadblocks and detours, but you are on the right track as long as you keep your eye on the finish line.

The week started off rough at first because I had to adjust to this Buffalo weather all over again. Besides getting bitten up by the mosquitos Florida’s weather was amazing so I am still adjusting to the cold. My first day of class was a drag, but could have been worst. Starbucks’s will be my best friend this semester because those morning classes were the worst. My second class was African American History and I was shocked at how boring the class was but I don’t need it to graduate so I dropped it.

The next day I missed my Media Law class because I didn’t feel good and usually would have panicked, but as a college senior you know that most professors don’t take attendance the first week of school. Most of us are either trying to get in or out of classes and I knew the professor so I didn’t stress it. When I got my energy up and took as much medicine as I could I went to my Philosophy of Love & Sex class. The class seemed interesting until a few people who I least expected to see joined the class. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that class was a little awkward and luckily for me I didn’t need that class so I dropped that class too.

I know what you may be thinking. Why did I drop two classes? Well-being that I am finishing up classes in the fall, I need four classes in order to be a considered a full time student and I only had to make up one class, so if I dropped two classes, then that is three classes that I have set up for next semester and the other class I can just choose for the fun of it. Well, it won’t literally be fun, but you get where I am going with this.

So after that class I had my Communications and Society class. It was a little uncomfortable at first being that everyone seemed to be best friends and I didn’t know anyone. Well I did, but you know I don’t at the same time. It’s an introvert thing so don’t meditate on that thought too much. Anyways, the first class started off dry as the professor reads the syllabus, but the second class was actually interesting. I usually hate ice breakers but this time it actually worked.

Today I have no classes so I finished up work for an online class I am taking called Short Stories and my first week of this semester is complete.

The biggest challenge that I am facing now is dealing with the big question that all college students know about. What is next? College student dread this question because asking what’s next is like asking how Trump got into office. Some things we just don’t know and I am fine with that. As a planner, I’ve always been obsessed with what the future holds, but I actually enjoy the roller coaster of surprises and changes.

A year ago I would have told you that I will be an editor of Seventeen Magazine of even Essence but who knew I would learn to edit videos. Not only have I developed other skills, but I gain skills in areas that I love. This week was bittersweet. Over the winter break, I met the man of my dreams and I had the time of my life so I was not too thrilled about returning to cold Buffalo to finish the semester, but I’m a business woman first I’m here chasing my dreams so I know I’m good.

The Day Trump Exposed America

The moment I found out that Trump won a part of me felt like it died inside. It took a day for me to realize that I was not dreaming. I knew this was going to happen, but I was hoping America proved me wrong. I sat in my dark room speechless feeling as if I was mourning the loss of a loved one. At this point the election hit me hard. I never realized how deep it was until Trump won.

I would make jokes about how we would be doomed either way, but at that moment I knew that I was wrong. I voted because it was my first time and I was excited to be a part of history, but I was never passionate or fully invested into politics like that.

On social media I saw a flood of mixed emotions and all I could think is how we came to this point. I must say I do not hate Trump or Hillary, but I am disgusted by the ignorance of many American people. When did we go back so far to the point where people can openly spread hate toward one another? What gives someone the courage to say in God we trust and hurt their neighbor?

This election made me wake up and realize that we can’t wait for a politician to save us. When Obama became president many minorities felt like he was our savior but he wasn’t. Obama was a representation of what we are capable of and living proof anything is possible.

Those who are angry about Trump do not be discouraged. We have come a long way from where we were many years ago and we will continue to prosper. At first I thought Trumps win could be the worst thing for America but it woke us up.

Throughout the election I’ve seen a lot of people post racist things and was angered by it, but after putting it into perspective I am glad that this was exposed. Two years ago I heard a man say the problem with race is that we keep talking about it. He then said if minorities would just see themselves as American that it would bring us together. Trump’s win proved his statement wrong. For those who believed that racism is no longer exist and that minorities are just angry, I am glad that they got a chance to see America exposed.

Don’t get me wrong I love this country, but our citizens must do better. How can minorities only see themselves as American when you have people openly telling them that they aren’t wanted?

Donald Trump puts a mirror to our faces and forced us to deal with the pain and hurt from our ancestors that are still deeply rooted in the fabric of our country.

Hopefully we can use this opportunity to face our ugly reality that America has never been great.

What Would You Do For Money?

The economy isn’t in the best shape and it seems almost impossible to make ends meet. So what are you willing to do for money?

Over the past few years I have heard many Americans complain that the immigrants are taking all the jobs from Americans. At first, I thought that this statement was just an excuse to blame someone for our misfortune but then I decided to dig a little deeper.

Today I watched the documentary “The Worst Job In New York: Immigrant America” and I would recommend everyone to watch it. This film opened my eyes to the topic of immigration in America. As an African American I can relate to the fact that Hispanics were discriminated against because of their ethnicity. In the film, it talks about the constant battles that some Hispanics face in upstate New York because of their ethnicity. Illegal and legal immigrants are constantly stopped and taken into custody so the officials can gain numbers in the people they deport so it looks good according to Martin Herron who worked for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some are sent back to their home countries away from their families and friends. Some parts of upstate New York is so bad that many Hispanics fear being seen in the day time because they  run the risk of being taken into custody.

The major issue is the fact that many Hispanics work the jobs that most Americans won’t. A survey was done where random non-Hispanics were asked if they would work at a dairy farm and all of them said no. This goes back to my question what will you do for money? The same Hispanics that Americans try to get rid of make up the industries that contribute to American society. After watching this film I have gained a greater respect for Hispanic culture.

This brings me back to remembering the worst job that I ever had. This summer for my break I decided to work at Taco Bell. When I worked at Taco Bell I was one out of two African American employees and the crew consisted of mostly Hispanic employees. Most of them couldn’t speak English but all I though to myself was why are they here? We were completely under staff and did the work of multiple people and I hated that job with a passion. I mopped floors, washed windows, cleaned the dinning area, worked the register, drive thru, prep food and took out the garbage but I knew that I wanted more for myself. I only worked there to save up for school but I counted each day down as time passed.

After watching this film I realized how amazing my past co-workers are. Despite the fact that they deal with this workload everyday, they are doing what we don’t want to do. I respect their work ethic and determination. One of my co-workers worked hard doing above and beyond any manager or employee there everyday. I never understood why he worked so hard for something that I saw as so terrible. One day he came in with a managers suit on I was so proud of him.

Although some Hispanics weren’t born in America, the impact that they make on America makes them American in my eyes. If I don’t do the job and you wont, who will? They are a major part in the success of American. They are responsible for the many simple things that we take for granted. So before you complain about immigration, think about the consequences that we would have to pay without them.