The more I read, and the more diversity of experience I added to my life, the more I became convinced that the journey to racial progress is within each of us. It is a soul-searching, intrapersonal experience. We all must compare the racial life training we received from family, friends, and community, to the TRUTH about race as we know it today. We may not realize it, but we all interact with others through a racial/ethnic lens. I believe this is particularly true for those of us middle-aged, southerners who grew up during the final years of Jim Crow. I wonder how much Jim Crow we still carry within us? If you are like me — over the age of 50 and white, I wonder how “literate” we are when it comes to race and ethnicity? I wonder if we have evolved since our formative years when everything in our lives kept us from people of color, and (for me) poor people. I wonder how our life choices and experiences have pushed our evolution?
These questions are becoming MORE, not less, important for us to ask ourselves. “Why,” you may ask? Because we are at (or moving toward) the apex of our careers, influence, and leadership. Think about it. What prejudices have you, or will you, carry into leadership? Ideally, we all should clean our psychological house before we attempt to influence society.
MY POINT: Sadly, this critically important journey within is lonely and unsupported.