Color Does Matter

As much as I’d like to be able to say it doesn’t, it most certainly does. As an African-American nurse, I’ve known and felt the sting of racism all too well. Being overlooked, devalued, cast aside, and just not looked at as someone who knows what they’re doing or what they’re talking about. Not to mention that I matriculated at Bethune-Cookman University and am currently in my doctoral program. So, I sit at the table with people who have no college background, but look down upon me because of the color or my skin. Does color matter? Indeed it does. Being an African American woman and nurse, I have to work harder to prove myself, to be able to sit at the table with those who I respect, but are not even as qualified as I am in certain areas. I have to watch what I say and how I say it as not to offend those who are not of the same color. I have to keep calm when everyone else is ranting and carrying on or else I’m considered “an angry black woman.”  Along with this, there’s no support from fellow black nurses. They will cut your throat before anyone else. So, yes, I’m angry, but not because I’m black. I’m angry because I’m expected not to show my black magic. I’m expected to be quiet and be spoken over when I try to speak. See, I’m not the overbearing, rude, obnoxious, loud mouth who goes off UNLESS I’ve been provoked to that point. For the most part, I will be quiet before I say something uncensored that’ll cost me my job or jail time. That’s just me. I prefer to breathe, talk to my therapist, reevaluate, strategize, and silently make my moves. I don’t plan to have to answer to anyone forever. I plan to have my own and leverage myself for myself. Color……that word that eludes us, yet is so present and in our faces as black nurses. The divide that keeps us underrated and sometimes disrespected. The term that somehow means unworthy to some. LIES….. I am black….I am a woman….and I am a nurse. All of which makes me pretty spectacular. Color will always be an issue whether done discreetly or directly to your face. It is up to African-Americans nurses, myself included, to make ourselves seen and heard. We are just as important and in some instances, more important because we have a unique perspective in what and how we view/see things. My black is beautiful….I am beautiful, intelligent, and am able to sit amongst the highest and best of them…..not just to learn, but to share and disseminate my knowledge. Everyone’s experience is different. I have experienced racism/discrimination at every place I’ve worked at as a nurse, but I did not choose nursing, nursing chose me. More importantly, God chose me to be His nurse so that He will get the glory and honor out of my life. So, here I am….here I stand….and here I’ll be. Color lines will always be there, but so will we and it is up to black nurses everywhere to break down these barriers so that we are a force to be reckoned with. Color….so many hues….so beautiful. Thank you to all my black nurses worldwide.

Published by ShesThatRN

I am an RN working on my DNP, preparing to launch several aspects of my new business and writing and getting ready to publish my first book. I love to write so blogging seemed like a great way to naturally express myself and publish my journey as a nurse.

9 thoughts on “Color Does Matter

  1. I am proud of you!!!! Bethune Cookman University is proud of you and Our Graduated class is proud of you. Sending Love from Saudi Arabia.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. KEEP ON KEEPING ON.
      I will encourage you to be strong and hang in here.What you are saying is 100% correct.I am a Registered Nurse and I graduated from the University of Southern California over 20years ago.
      The discrimination is alarming and I have given up.I act like I don’t see it anymore.
      But one thing I know is that I will do my job very well ,start my iv ,do my woundcare,document,blood transfusions, medication administration, admit,and discharge.I am a Compassionate Nurse.
      Those ones that are putting you down ignore them and behave like they don’t even exist.
      So many of them hide their LACK of KNOWLEDGE.
      Some doctors act the same full of discrimination.The Asian Nurses are the worst in discrimination .These are people that came from very poor countries but some are really super nice.
      I don’t pay attention to their discrimination and ignorance.
      Their advantage is that they are more in numbers.I come I saw ,I conquer. I come to work do my job get paid go home.When they buy house I buy a house,they have car I have car.I will not let their hate affect what I do.
      Can you imagine listening to the discrimination that comes from the top? Imagine that? We will be all dead.
      As for some of my black sisters they are suffering from uncertainty,so they just want to discriminate against other black nurses because they don’t want you there.As soon as I observe that I pray,” Father please forgive them for they know not what they are doing “.I discussed a position with a black nurse that I like ,she already got hired already in one of the positions. But she refused to disclose the positions to me.She kept saying repeatedly you must have Masters,you must have Masters, I forgot the name of the job but you Must have Masters” .I felt sorry for her because I am not really interested.How do she know that I don’t have Masters? I felt sorry for her.
      I am able to heal through writing books.Even when I present my books to my colleagues they still don’t believe it.I smiled and said to myself go to hell,these are mine and cannot be taken away from me.
      I have written some books such as follows
      NURSES YOU MOVE ME by PHILOMENA OKEKE.
      GEORGE AND HIS GRANDFATHER.
      LET ME EXPLAIN. ( DON’T FIT IN ONE BOX)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for your input, it’s certainly not an easy pill to swallow but like you said, we come to work, do our jobs and go home. I am an empath and I feel things very deeply which makes me feel heavy at times, but I’m learning to breathe through it and let it go. Sometimes it takes a little while, but I eventually release it. I will check out your books:)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Please bear in mind that you are not alone.Though my words doesn’t make it better.But find one great honest person, it doesn’t matter her skin color that understands you.You just stick to that person that usually helps.
        Remember that you must put food on the table.There is a place for you. Must not quit.NURSING is for you ,make the best out of it.
        In nursing there are good days and bad days.Do not take it home.
        Drop everything at work at the end of your shift, go home, shower ,eat and make love.
        Tomorrow is another day.

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  2. I’m a white nurse. It’s good that you posted this. Hopefully a lot of people will see it. We are all supposed to be treating each other as equals. It is frustrating and awkward for me to see my black friends not get ahead because of racism. White men are still running this world and that needs to change.

    Like

    1. Hi and thank you for responding. Yes, it is very unfortunate, but we must not give up the fight for equality. It can be exhausting but so can the act of trying to breathe for asthmatics and just like them we have to find the will and drive to dig in, address it and continue being outstanding providers to ourselves and our patients.

      Liked by 1 person

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