It’s only been a week since we launched, and several people have already asked why we named our blog and company Uncolorblind. The short answer – we love difference and diversity. We literally want to embrace and experience it all. We don’t want to be blind to any person’s race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, and identity. See. Live. Embrace Diversity. It’s our creed, and we incorporate it in all we do.
The more complicated answer to “Why Uncolorblind?”, is because we were/are tired of only being seen as black women when it’s convenient for mainstream America. Colorblindness renders us invisible such that our color only matters in situations where we really don’t want it to or it can’t be fully appreciated.
Like when we walk into a courtroom, prepared for oral argument, and a white male lawyer taps us on the shoulder and shows us where the “non-lawyers” sit. You see, it’s in that moment that we want you to be truly “colorblind” and not use the color of our skin to dismiss the notion that we might be lawyers and your opponents.
Or when we show up to a deposition fully prepared to slay on behalf of our client, and the lawyers on the other side hand us their business cards and ask that we expedite the transcript. We wish your “colorblindness” didn’t assume that the black woman in the room must be the court reporter.
Or the moment we tell you that we went to top ten schools, on scholarship, and because of our color…or maybe our height…you ask us if we played basketball.
Or that moment when we’re in a busy airport, full of people, and somehow you find your way to us, all the way in the corner, and request our help watching your belongings while you use the bathroom. How did you pass up all of these other human beings with eyes who could watch your bags just the same? We know you’re “colorblind” and all, but did the darkness of our skin make us seem more like “the help”? We’re Christians first so we’re always willing to help, but we’re not “the help”. See the difference?
Or when we’re in line at Starbucks. Dead in the line. Only one inch from the person at the counter placing their order. But you enter and stand right next to us, not even noticing our presence. We’re literally invisible. When you finally realize that we’re standing there and we might actually be customers (not “the help”, see above) you don’t get behind us, but instead you ask, “Are you in line?” Um, yes. Duh. We’ve been in line. This might be hard to believe, but we’re here to get a double shot, non-fat latte just like you.
Quite frankly, our color and ethnicity are important to us in all situations. It has less to do with race and more to do with the people who raised us and our culture. We bring a little piece of the villages that made us who we are everywhere we go. That means it walks with us into courtrooms, boardrooms, grocery stores, Target…everywhere. We always want people to see that and see it in us at all times. We, in turn, will do the same for them.
We’re super proud of who we are and where we come from (Hey North Carolina! Hey Chicago!), and we want you to embrace those parts of us, too. Not to fill a quota or check a minority box, but because you recognize and value our upbringing, experience and different views on the world.
So please, we beg of you – don’t be colorblind. Join our team. Be Uncolorblind. It’s the only way to truly see, live, embrace diversity.