An Uncomfortable Commentary
In the movie Monster-In-Law, Viola (Jane Fonda) and Ruby (Wanda Sykes) have the following exchange that is hands down, the best part of the movie.
Viola (JF): Ruby, what’s wrong?
Ruby (WS): I am sick! I am sick, sick, sick of your shit! And when I’m not sick, I’m tired! I am sick and tired!
Viola (JF): What are you trying to say?
Ruby is sick and tired of Viola undervaluing and devaluing her, not to mention, she is exhausted from being dragged into Viola’s craziness while being expected to clean up the mess that is sure to follow.
That exchange between Viola and Ruby captures EXACTLY how so many black women have told me they have felt. Truth be known, I have felt it too.
As co-founder of a 15 year-old company, I have been the visionary, the leader, the strategist, the rainmaker, the brand ambassador, the innovator, the advisor, the director, the subject matter expert — I don’t just regurgitate the work and ideas of others, I connect ideas and words differently, I create. I have paid my dues in the midst of buying parts, building the plane, flying it, and deciding if it’s going to be a jet or a helicopter. I developed my expertise in the realest ways possible — by doing hard work, often in uncharted territory — in the midst of people who often see me as a threat.