Some people are hard-hearted, mean, full of hatred, and jealous, you couldn’t impress them if you wanted to, so I stopped trying to impress anyone when I was young. It was hard in those days, thinking I was a failure, because after getting an education and passing Government testing I couldn’t find a descent job. I didn’t realize it was racism, keeping black women out of the office.
That was the stupidity, I actually thought if you worked hard and educated yourself, the world was yours. It was the fifties and I was hard on myself. I persevered until I finally found a job; at a car wash! It was cold in Columbus, Ohio in more ways than one. So many years later after some tough times and minimum wages I decided to become a Professional Barber. That didn’t impress anyone, even though I loved it and I was proud of myself, I finished, received my Diploma and discovered the field was highly prejudiced. I still thought America was full of promise if one applied themselves. After all of that, I find myself in Peoria seeing the ugly head of racism preventing a talented, educated City of Peoria employee, snubbed, and passed over for a position in which she was highly qualified. I am referring to Dr. Leslie McKnight, PH.D; I think it was wrong to bring someone in to fill the position, a new employee so to speak. No, I don’t try to impress anyone, I am 82 years educated to the American personality and I know reaching high is often greeted with stubborn traditionalism.
It’s troubling when someone is held back because of their race and not their merit. God bless you, Dr. Leslie McKnight, you are a winner. You educated yourself and many rewards are coming your way.