Saturday, December 19, 2009

What's really behind this "Experience" thing?

It's coming down consistently and there's more to come. Shop is closed today, so no work. No metro today either, at least nothing I want to contend with. I'm effectively snowed in and bored - and it's only noon 30. Ehh...

Some of my roomie's folks came over to chill with us (literally, it's cold out) and I found myself sitting a room with three smart, passionate, educated Black women - all complaining about being under or un-employed. Bottom line: It's hard out there for us colored girls.

I think our convo today is a testament to the fact that racism persists - albeit in subtle ways. We were all complaining about not getting the jobs we wanted due to a "lack of experience" but is that the bottom line? What does it take for a woman of color to get this experience? What realities have prevented us from getting what we apparently need, but are lacking? And, maybe equally important, is our rejection really all about experience? While the latter is something that we will never find out, the former provides the opportunity for some interesting and important musing.

Maybe the financial restraints on many of us pursuing higher ed? In short, unlike many of our more affluent (white) counterparts, I would confidently assert that most of us have had to work jobs that actually pay - as opposed to experience building internships - in order to complete school.

Perhaps not having the same connections in regard to internships, first jobs, etc..., puts us in a position where 'experience' matters more.

What else would you add to the list?

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