I am on tour. The photo above is of me in my hotel room. I’m working in Colorado later this week so I came out early got a hotel for two days and am doing my writing from here.
I got up did yoga and then went to practice my swimming.
I wrote a show and I’ve been hired to use my skills as an artist for good. I am being paid a fair wage to do the work I went to college to do. I am being paid a fair living wage for the work I’m doing.
Right now. I have enough income to pay my rent, my monthly debt payments, pay for my health club membership and save for the future.
America is based on worth and value. Supply and demand. It’s capitalism. In my working life on this planet, in my skin as a dark skinned black woman, the system has always valued me as a sale item. The truth is that most consumers are willing to pay less for my services and expect me to give 150%.
Oh yes….as black folks have shared our experiences of having to be more skilled at our crafts in order to get a fair wage the wealth based majority has been listening.
The system says, “oh it’s how you are manifesting in the world. It’s the energy you put out”. Perhaps that’s true and at the same time, Perhaps the system is so accustomed to Black women giving 150 percent and receiving 62 cents on every dollar that a white man makes…that Americans are happy with buying Black Women’s services on the discount rack.
I’ve worked my ass off as a chef and got paid less. When I was a health coach and private chef the wealthy liberal white and black people who wanted to barter for the work I do for them.
Will that barter pay for my health insurance?
Will that work exchange pay into my pension so that when I can no longer work…I’ll have the resources to take care of myself?
One of the many reasons why I left the majority white liberal female yoga, conscious dance and diversity awareness training programs is because liberal white women did not pay me my worth.
I’d do these conscious dance classes and white and black women, with college degrees and husbands who took care of their basic needs would take my class and then expect me to coach them on how to do what I do.
They would ask me to share my playlists. To tell them where I got my props. Always asking me to take care of them…..for free. I would offer packages and coaching sessions and they would look at me as if I were totally insane. How dare I not share with them!?!!! I was uppity! I was ungrateful.
I knew my worth and refused to be taken advantage of. So I made very little money and eventually I left those industries.
But….when I left it opened the door for those who do see me for my worth to step through.
Slowly the tide is shifting
I recently reached out to a liberal white female friend from the conscious dance world because I’m ready to heal our old implicit bias based trauma from the past. I miss her as a friend and she is open to do the work…on her own and with me in order to grow.
Through the grapevine one of the white women who I used to know from conscious dance heard I was “back” o got a text from her. Asking me to sub for her class. No mention of payment. No request to see how I was. I haven’t spoken to this person or heard from her in over 3 years….and she asks me to take care of her.
I deleted the message, blocked the number and deleted the number from my phone.
Everywhere I turn in the world society tells Black Women we are worthless. We’re ignored. We’re disrespected. We are made fun of, objectified. On the other end our bodies are used as testing grounds or commodities. We’re given the worst tables in restaurants told were loud and expected to always serve. There’s this constant clawing at our hair our skin our bodies as being for the consumption of others.
I say fuck that. Fuck all of that.
Reside with people who know your worth and honor it.
When I was a kid my parents would tell me I was smart. They’d tell me I was beautiful and I could be anything I wanted in this world. The. I’d go to school and be called a nigger by the white kids who lived in the trailer park, be ridiculed by the rich white and black kids who lives in the suburbs. I held on to what my parents told me and held on to my truth and held my head up high.
Those years of duality prepared me for being a black woman in America connected to her true worth. We are precious jewels and our lives depend on us caring for ourselves first.
We are worth it