What is the biggest barrier you experience as a result of your cultural group identity (both professionally and personally)? (Written By AmbassadorNique)

Continuing with my interview here is another question I was asked to answer.

I believe the biggest barrier I’ve faced was the fear of being afraid of taking advantage of greater opportunities. Yes, there are many opportunities that I’ve either missed or did not have, but too often people of color are told we “can’t” do something or that we are not “supposed” be doing certain things that may require a higher skill level. Unfortunately these barriers to often come from people who look exactly like ourselves. Furthermore the minute one tries to achieve what has not been done or collaborate with someone outside their race they are labeled sell outs. Is it jealousy or are people just afraid to see others succeed?

Too often we place people of color in boxes based on their skin color and environment and limit their growth, putting a ceiling on what should be a stepping stone. I’ve personally stood on both sides of this oppression being the victim and oppressor. At the age of 25 I am trying to do everything that I can to educate my own ignorance as well as do everything I was told I would not be good at. I am working hard to understand the intentions and motives behind what I do not understand. I am working to change my eating habits, continuing my education and bringing myself and my race to new places with the confidence that I did not have when I was younger. Unfortunately the support still isn’t where it should be, but one must start with the man in the mirror and hope that those who still carry ignorance will change.

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