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. View more posts