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A Black Woman's Struggles

Uriel is an intellectual property lawyer, a fiction writer, and a language enthusiast.

Author's Note

The aim of the flash fiction series dubbed "A Black Woman's Struggles" is to explore some societal and professional stereotypes about Black ladies. Though they may be based on real-life experiences, they are first and foremost fiction stories that are meant to appeal to the reader's creativity. Nothing in this series is made to hurt the reader's sensitivity.

Wearing her most expensive and professional-looking dress, Angela walked confidently towards the last door on the twenty-third floor of the magnificent A&A’s Building. She knocked to announce her entry, then got into the room almost immediately.

“Good morning, Mr. Sanders,” She said, with a beautiful smile.

Even though she was a fresh graduate from one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the country, Angela already had many accomplishments to her credit: in high school, she had won three writing contests and “The Best Chronicler” Award for her engaging articles in the school journal. In college, she had proven that her writing skills were not all she had to succeed in her chosen career path. Since her second year, she directed and presented a weekly show at her campus radio station, which the student body and staff had acknowledged as “The Best Radio Program” twice. Besides, Angela had spent the past four summers interning in local press houses.

Mr. Sanders, the editor-in-chief of Rock Magazine, was looking for some “fresh blood” to hire as assistant editor. His goal was not just to redefine the editorial line, but equally to groom a potential successor. A few days before, he had received a recommendation from his long-time friend and former classmate William, one of Angela’s former lecturers. Professor William had described her as a “promising young woman whose demonstrated capabilities will definitely revolutionize the world of journalism.” Impressed by the lady’s resume, he had given her a phone call, and had been convinced, after less than ten minutes of conversation, that she was the person for the job. He had then invited her for an in-person interview, and there she was, right on time.

“Angela?” Mr. Sanders asked, having all the pain in the world to hide his surprise.

With a curly hair and a dark complexion, Angela did not look exactly the way she sounded on the phone… Or rather, the way Editor-in-Chief Sanders had imagined her.

“Huh… Sit down, please.” He told her nervously, avoiding to shake her hand.

The young woman sat on the chair opposite his, maintaining her friendly smile.

“Tell me about yourself,” Mr. Sanders said.

As Angela was giving him a brief presentation of herself, he could not stop thinking about his biracial childhood friend Garry, whose mother, an unsociable Black woman, was constantly battling with drug addiction. His thoughts also wandered to Mishal, his brother’s first love, who never finished high school and ended up as a jobless single mother of six kids. Then Sandra, the lady with a dark complexion in charge of cleaning the twenty-third floor of A&A’s building, who always had that wretched look on her face.

“Mr. Sanders?” Angela called politely.

She had finished speaking more than a minute ago and he was so lost in his thoughts that he had not noticed.

“Oh, sorry. Hum, why do you want this job?”

Although they had both discussed Angela’s qualifications and experience over the phone, she defended her profile with the most convincing arguments possible. Meanwhile, Sanders was picturing her in the role he had in mind: collaborating with other editors, representing the magazine at social events, coordinating writers and columnists… For a second, he transposed all he knew about black ladies to Angela, and had an expression of disgust at the sole thought of her ever assuming this position.

“It’s enough!” Mr. Sanders exclaimed, cutting the young woman in. “We will call you back.”

“Thanks for your time, Mr. Sanders” Angela said courteously before leaving.

Two days later. Editor-in-Chief Sanders had interviewed the last candidate in the afternoon. At 8 p.m., he was rounding up for the day when his eyes fell on the recommendation written by his friend William. He had equally sent in recordings of some of Angela’s shows, which Mr. Sanders began listening to. He smiled at her command of the English language and her ability to captivate the attention of her audience. Moreover, from the articles he had read from her, there was no doubt she was an excellent journalist. The man sighed and asked himself: “Why doesn’t she look the way she sounds?”

The next morning, Angela received an email from Rock Magazine:

“Dear Angela…”

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© 2020 Uriel Eliane

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