twice as hard

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one thing minorities have quickly learned is that nothing is given; all victories are earned. we’re always reminded that just to get half as much you must work twice as hard – and have a bit of luck.

i’ve been told that implicitly from a young age, and heard it more recently on the airwaves from larry wilmore, host of the nightly show; from jessica huang, on fresh off the boat; from viola davis, when accepting her prize; and from scandal’s rowan, with words both painful and wise.

and make that four times as hard if you happen to own a vagina to complement your darker skin tone. intersectionality’s a word some might learn in college, but for the rest of us it’s the everyday life that we live. for us hierarchical structures are clear as daylight; we aren’t able to ignore them, try as we might.

i find myself growing angry, exhausted and bitter ‘cuz this role model expectation is friggin’ hard to deliver. it’s unfair and a burden i’m unwilling to bear – not that i have a choice, though! not that anyone cares. the only solace as i struggle on this tiring quest is knowing there are others also trying to sort out this mess.

to connect more with strangers, friends, colleagues and peers who challenge existing power structures is my task for this year. i crave solidarity, support and encouraging inspiration as i try to try twice as hard to live up to my own aspirations.

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