Breaking a Family Curse of being “Complacent”

Why must us as African-American women learn and be ok with being “complacent” in bounding situations?” Earlier in the week, my mother and I had a conversation on the phone about my plans once I graduate from school in May. I recently applied for Teach for America and was denied placement, so of course my plan B was graduate school for my M.Ed in School Counseling. After telling her my aspirations and my plans on becoming a secondary education counselor, she immediately cut me off. Her response on my plans for graduate school was very odd to me. She responded by telling me, “You must love debt. You’re going to learn that it’s not about the title of your degree. You just need to get a job and work your way up within that company.”

Now my mother is well-educated. She is a graduated of Winston-Salem State University with a Political Science degree and her aspirations was to become a lawyer. After she graduated from WSSU, she began to work and decided that she rather make money instead canceling her dreams of becoming a Public Interest Lawyer.

Now being that this is my 5th year in school, I understand my mother has sacrificed a lot in order for me to get a decent education from a great university, financially speaking. Now my issue with that statement that my mother made is that is exactly what “society” expects from, not only a woman but one of color. A great professor from my past university, Larry Little, Esq., said during one of his lectures, “Many higher level institutions teach us how to work for other people. What are you going to do differently once you depart the university to become the master of your fate and not become enslaved in blue-collar America?” I took that bit of knowledge that he dropped and measured it up to that statement my mother said to me. I plan on raising the bar, striving until my name is accompanied by Dr. , and never becoming “socially complacent.”

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Posted on January 30, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It’s interesting that as I read your story I think of the “naysayers” who tried to direct my path. I remember being asked “are you just going to be a professional student”? This hurts my feelings initially but I preserved in spite of this.

    What often happens is that women are often pushed into low paying jobs and this determines their future. I guarantee you that if you find your passion and pursue it, you will never “work” a day in your life and you will find the success you seek.

  2. I think it’s great that you are not settling down to other people’s expectations. I feel that sometimes society limits the opportunities women has in advancing in the world by diminishing our possibilities. Black women were trapped in the domestic sector of the economy for so long, it is hard for women to get out of it now. There are a lot of Black women today settling for a job because they realize they do not have a choice as they are the sole providers of income in their household and their children need to eat. Take it as a blessing you don’t have dependents that would influence your goals. Live your life and pursue what you want! And when you do decide to have children, encourage them the same way!

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