The angry woman of color

Sometimes I struggle to keep my angry woman of color attitude in check. It was at its strongest when I was younger, probably when I was about 20 or 21. That was at the height of my involvement in MEChA and in student government. I saw an injustice and evidence of racism everywhere I looked. I changed sometime after I started graduate school and was in a very welcoming and supportive educational program.

Three years in to my graduate program, I still see injustices. There are many things that make me angry, but I think about them differently. My first instinct is still to react the way I did when I was 21. But now, I try to wrap my head around my opponent’s point of view. For instance, I hate the fact that our fees (tuition) keep increasing, but I understand the point of view of administrators and the regents who favor the decisions.

But every once in a while, like today, that 21 year old comes out. To be honest, I don’t even struggle too much to keep the attitude in check. I like it. I can’t just be silent when I hear something that is completely wrong and misguided in regard to something I care deeply about (e.g., fighting for increased ethnic diversity at the University of California).

And you know what? I think it’s kinda fun to bring out that 21 year old, with her big mouth, big attitude and big ideas.

3 thoughts on “The angry woman of color

  1. jennifer

    i know exactly what you mean. i see my students, some of whom are mechistas, and i remember how it feels to be angry. something about getting older kind of changes things. part of me feels like maybe i just don’t have that kind of energy. but i’d like to think that i’ve learned to choose my battles. i can’t fight everything. just trying to echar mi grano de arena.

    Reply
  2. patricia

    I think as we get older we learn, as Jennifer already commented, to pick our battles and to care about things but not let them consume us. That is really energy draining. A few weeks ago, after deftly dealing with a bad situation at work, I had the opportunity to address the person who was a huge cause of the problem. I thought I handled things well and I was told that I did by my boss and supervisor. I received feedback from two colleagues that 1) “the colored woman in me came out” and 2) the “salvadoreña made an appearance” that day. I just laughed and thanked them for the feedback. I still have it to tap into. That’s good to know.

    Reply

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