PPR showed readers who think we have a clear view of the complexities of race in a black woman's career that there's still grime on our lens.
PPR's post--the second installment of a three-part-series on her blog This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life entitled "Working With Black Women", is told as a series of hypothetical movie sequences. PPR casts herself and others she's encountered in her real working life in a series of re-enactments.
In her first one, she (or the actress Raven Symone, in this case) and her professor (played in this post by Sigourney Weaver) engage in a dialogue:
The professor seated at a desk a few feet from me is played by Sigourney Weaver. “Who’s coming in this weekend for your graduation?” “Everybody,” I/Raven say/s, looking up for a moment from the stack of papers I/she am/is grading. “My sister and her son, my mother and grandmother, father and stepmother.” “That is wonderful,” Professor ____/Sigourney says, a wistful look in her eyes. “I know exactly how you feel. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, too.”
The word "too" has so many implications. "Too" means the professor assumes that because she/PPR/Raven is black that she is the first in her family to get a college education. It implies that if the truth were known that, in fact, PPR is not the first person in her family to get a college degree, that she would "lose some of her realness" in the professor's mind. That she would not be perceived as a "real black woman".
The following re-enactments illuminate other misperceptions by PPR's black peers and by a black, female employer. She creates her own ending to this movie:
If this scene from my life were a movie, all three of us would be dressed fabulously…we’d be walking side by side in slow motion…a funky soundtrack would be playing loudly in time with our steps. The heads of the White colleagues we pass in the halls would literally turn as we glide by. (Well, actually that would not be artistic license, as in real life the heads really did turn; conversations really were halted. But back to the movie version.) I’d be played by Gabrielle Union. To my right would be Queen Latifah and to my left would be Halle Berry. Though previously suspicious of each other—each for our own reasons, based on our own backgrounds—we are now, after cafeteria wilted salads and stale sandwiches, united in a powerful front. There is no stopping us now. The powerful White folks watching us pass in the hallway are defeated. Their efforts to play us off against and keep us apart from each other have failed….
She acknowledges that this ending may not happen, "But this is my movie. And I like the vanishing fake Black cards ending."
PPR, we loved your ending, and so did your blogging peers who nominated you for BlogHer of the Week.
Thanks to everyone for continuing to send in your nominated posts.
Remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them coming!
If you want to check out all the BlogHer of the Week posts, check out the BlogHer of the Week archive.
(For Elisa, Jory and Lisa
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