Being black in certain spaces can definitely make you stick out like a sore thumb and at times even make you
uncomfortable. While you may be comfortable in who you are you may not be comfortable in where you are. Now, I don't
want to scare you because this statement applies to anything you may do in life not necessarily just tech. When I get on
social media, specifically Tik Tok people tend to glamorize having a job in tech, and while I'm sure it depends on the
specific responsibilities of the job, working in technology is no walk in the park. If you find yourself interested in the complexity of how things work then you may be a perfect fit for IT, engineering, or being an analyst. (Side-note: All tech jobs don't consist of coding!!)
I find myself to be more of a creative person so it can be challenging when you're dealing with concepts that are cut and dry. Now, technology can have it's creative bits when it comes to thinking of new things such as Group FaceTime, or flying cars (like many of us have been told by older people or have told younger folks), or all the exciting technology that comes in a Tesla. And while thinking of things that would make our life easier or we would like to use, typically the execution is way more complex, hence is why we don't have it or it takes years for it to come about. I love brainstorming and coming up with ideas whether it be technical or business ideas but I can tend to not think the execution through. So, if you find yourself in the same boat, try to keep that in mind when deciding if you truly are a tech nerd or just a creative thinker. Make sure you pick a job that will allow you to do what it is you find yourself good at.
I've been in the tech space for about six months now and it definitely has been a learning experience. In just a short time
I've learned more about myself, about different software (more or less), and capitalism. Coming from a non-technical
background has added to the confusion that I experience on a day to day and as I begin to understand one thing, I tend to
become confused about another. What makes the field so challenging is the technology itself. You have to understand the
product in order to sell it, use it or teach it and depending on how quickly you learn, you may find yourself feeling like
yourself on a hamster wheel. Working in this field is the perfect example of how you never truly know everything. I work
with people who have been in the field for YEARS and may have to get back to me on certain questions I ask or will have
to troubleshoot because they're not one hundred percent sure on the issue that we ran into.
When beginning my job in tech, I was the only Black woman in my new hire program, I'm sure this is no surprise as when we think of who dominates the tech field like many other spaces is white men. However, there are many people who are working in other countries while we sleep to make sure that the technology that we use everyday runs properly. In a sense, "the face of tech" are people like Mark Zuckerberg. Considering that most of the successful tech companies and startups are founded by white men, for example, Google, Microsoft, and Apple just to name a few but we have to look at the people that help get and keep these companies high ranking. When trying to get advice or guidance on your journey through the tech world it may be hard to find someone black and even harder to find a black woman. Though it may tough there are people who look like you doing what you are doing or what you want to do. That's why we need communities like AfroTech, Blacks in Technology, and Black is Tech to acknowledge Black people, connect them, and celebrate them. (If you're really in a reading mood, here is an article about Black women tech founders)
I hope this didn't discourage you if you're interested in beginning a career within tech, but instead gave you more insight, resources, and better idea of what different careers may look like within the space . After all, you can't knock until you try it! If you have any questions or want any advice, feel free to reach out to me. As always, thanks for reading and I'll see you in my next post!
6 books in 3 months? Are you up for the challenge? You sit on the phone all day anyhow! So with this being said, I'm going to provide you with my summer reading list. Along with clothes, I have a bad habit of adding books to my cart then closing the tab once I see the total but to combat the large number at checkout I've decided to just get books little by little. Disclaimer: I have not read any of these books that are on my list but I plan to read them throughout the summer.
First up on the list we have Blink the Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell, author of David & Goliath his top selling book. Many of us know the story of David & Goliath through the Bible but after reading Gladwell's analysis along with other examples of this biblical story he quickly became one of my favorite authors. You can find a summary and preview of what this book is about here.
Next up we have All About Love by Bell Hooks. I have seen many excerpts and read the first few pages of this book. Also, I have seen it appear on other people's reading list so here I am putting it on mine as well. I definitely want to read other books that she has written including Communion: The Female Search for Love and Salvation: Black People and Love...if you haven't notice she writes a lot about love so if you find love to be intriguing or interesting then she's probably the author for you. You can find a summary and preview about All About Love here.
Thirdly (not sure if this is a word) but we have The Source of Self Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison. I have read one other book by Morrison titled Beloved which was also a good book so I would say she's a reliable writer, not to mention this book is her #1 bestseller. (I'm also supposed to be reading Sula by her as well with my family so I'll be on a Toni Morrison kick this summer as well along with Bell Hooks.) You can find a summary and preview of this book here.
Vibrate Higher Daily: Live Your Power by Lalah Delia is a book written to serve as a guide on how to channel your emotions in a positive way. Learn how to move through daily challenges that life brings to our doorstep. I follow Delia on Twitter to brighten up my timeline. In addition with being an author, she is a spiritual practitioner. You can find a summary of this book here.
***While on the topic of mental health be sure to check this out this book when it's released on 10/13 and this author who is also a mental health professional.***
This book isn't on the reading list because it has yet to be released but just a freebie! After the Rain by Alexandra Elle. I have a journal by the name of Today I Affirm by Elle (available at 5 below). I love this journal because it gives you prompts to journal write about which makes it easier for people who may be new to journaling. After the Rain is a book that serves as a guide to healing. Since this book is not yet published I can't offer much of an opinion. You can find a summary of what the book is about here.
Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom is a book that discusses what being a black woman in society means. While every one woman's experience is unique, she is here to address some commonalities amongst the average black woman. I watched an interview of her talking about the book on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, to say the least she is very well spoken. A summary and preview of the book can be found here.
Lastly to finish off the list we have, Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin. I've read The Fire Next Time and Go Tell it on the Mountain which were also good reads. Baldwin is known as being a very influential writer who addresses issues such as racism and the struggles of being black in America. In Giovanni's Room he also addresses struggles with sexuality. I thought this would be a good book not only to learn but to enjoy a story as well. Most books on the list if not all are books to teach. A preview and summary of this book can be found here.
When composing this list I originally planned to have 9 books over the course of 3 months but then I thought to myself like hmm the world is opening back up so maybe smaller? Then when I got halfway through the list I realized all the authors had something in common. After this realization, I decided to commit to this theme. So I invite you to read these books with me this summer. My hope is that you learn something, gain insight, a different perspective, and find a new favorite author/book.
This past Thursday, March 8, 2018, the world celebrated women everywhere. And although we should celebrate women everyday, this particular day is just one highlight of the year. Only just about a fourth of the year is over already...let me say that again, ABOUT A FOURTH OF THE YEAR IS OVER ALREADY! Though this is a short amount of time and the year has been flying by to say the least, black women are always accomplishing great things and reaching new heights. So in honor of this year's past International Women's Day, I am going to give a few women whom we may not be all too familiar with the spotlight.
First up we have Marsai Martin. Ms. Martin is the youngest Black-ish star. At just 13 years old she will executive produce and star in a comedy entitled "Little". This movie is based on Martin's very own idea. The movie is about an adult woman being overwhelmed from the pressures of life (I can totally relate) and she receives the opportunity to relive her youth. Marsai Martin will be working with other big names and producers in the business. I'm not sure when the film is expected to be released but definitely be on the lookout for it!
Next we have Janaye Ingram. Many of us have heard of Airbnb and some of us may have just recently have left some because of spring break. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is an app where homeowners have the opportunity to allow tourists to stay in their homes for a certain duration of time. (This is my explanation in a nut shell) Anyway, Ms. Ingram is currently the first director of national partnerships at Airbnb. Not only does she hold this position, but she is a woman who wears many hats. One of the other hats that she wears is being the secretary and logistical coordinator for the Women's March on Washington. She has also received acknlowdgement from First Lady Michelle Obama from the previous role that she had as national executive director of the National Action Network which is a Civil Rights organization founded by Reverend Al Sharpton. Janaye Ingram definitely proves to be a woman who is active. Definitely check into her to make sure that I did her justice and didn't leave anything out.
Up next is Angela Rye. If you know her you know she is also a woman who wears many hats. Ms. Rye is an attorney but is better known for her role on CNN as a political commentator. However, that is not all she does. She is also the CEO of IMPACT strategies which serves as a political advocate "firm" for all people, and she is a political analyst for NPR (National Public Radio). She is very articulate and calm for such a very stressful job and people that she deals with within her job. Regardless of weather you are a political person who likes to watch the news or not, I can say for myself she is definitely someone worth watching.
These are just three of many black women who are making a difference every day in their community. This is not including our sisters, aunts, grandmothers, and mothers who wear many hats as well. They are a prime example of why International Women's Day should not just be contained to 24 hours but to 365 days. Thank you to all the women in my life who are helping me and grooming me to become an influential woman. Happy International Women's Everyday to all the women around the world.<3
With so many bad things going in the world and all over the news outlets, it can be easy to lose hope. However, along with all the bad going on in the world, there are good things going on as well. Some of things are not as widely spread as others and because of this, I want to help shed light on those stories in the black community. This blog page will be used to share all the great stories going on and what our sisters and brothers are doing "for the culture".