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A Black Woman's Struggles - Episode 5: Wrong Choices?

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

Author's Note

In the last episode, Angela was asked to return to her position as an assistant editor with Rock Magazine and was equally offered the opportunity to host her own show with the Bones Media Group. Just as we did in the previous parts, we keep exploring stereotypes and realities surrounding the life of Black ladies. Remember that though they may be based on real-life experiences, these are first and foremost fiction stories that are meant to appeal to the reader's creativity. Please, don't forget to vote and/or give your opinion in the comments section!

-Miss Angela? The assistant called for the third time.

Angela, who had appeared lost in her thoughts the first two times, finally turned towards Kay, the assistant.

-Your coffee, Said Kay, handing a cup to Angela.

-Thanks, Angela replied, with a faint smile.

As soon as Kay left, Angela sighed in despair. Was this not supposed to be one of the best days of her career so far? How come she was she left with a bittersweet taste?

Indeed, Angela was about to record the first edition of “The Angela’s Show” at the Bones Group Studio. Two weeks ago, she had accepted T. Jay’s offer and had informed Editor-in-Chief Sanders that she was not ready to return at Rock Magazine. She could clearly recall Mr. Sanders’ apologetic and disappointed tone when he told her “There will always be a place for you if you decide to come back.”

Come back? Why would she decide to return to a place where she could not speak out on topics that really mattered to her when she was given the opportunity to host her own show? At that time, Angela was bubbling inside when thinking about the numerous subjects she would meaningfully discuss on her talk show!

Three days after accepting T. Jay’s offer, she went back to his office with a notebook full of topics and discussed how she intended to bring them to the show. Surprisingly, T. Jay only had a half-smile on his face when she was explaining her brilliant ideas. No sign of approbation could be read from his demeanor. By the time she was done talking, all he could say was:

-Angela, we are no longer in journalism school. This is real life.

Taken aback by T. Jay’s remark, Angela frowned a little.

-And what is that supposed to mean? The young woman asked.

-When people need serious information, they turn to the news and documentaries. When they watch a show, they expect some entertaining content. We want people to forget about the seriousness of life, not to be constantly reminded of it!

-And, what is wrong in doing both? Angela questioned. The audience could both be entertained and learn something from a show!

-Listen, T. Jay said, coming close to her. We can do it this way: in the beginning, we give the viewers all the fun they want: gossip, comedy, mild reporting of events, and the like. Then once we have established our presence and made you the most popular talk show host in town, you can talk about whatever you like. Are we okay?

Even though Angela felt her heart heavy, she still nodded in approbation and accepted what T. Jay tagged as a “little” concession.

-Speaking of compromise, the young man continued. You need to give up on this, He said, pointing towards Angela’s hair.

Angela had always kept her hair natural. She usually packed her long and kinky locks into beautiful and creative hairstyles, or with hairbands matching her clothing.

-Excuse me? Angela asked, in disbelief.

-You’re gonna be watched by thousands of people, Angela. Your image is capital to the success of the show!

After arguing with T. Jay about how she wasn’t ready to give up on part of her identity, all he said was:

-Take some time to ponder over it. But remember, this show is the opportunity of a lifetime. You may never have this chance again…

After five days of intense thinking, Angela had decided to adopt a more “marketable” hairstyle in preparation for the shooting of the first episode of the show. When she entered T. Jay’s office that day after having relaxed her kinky hair, a satisfied smile drew on the young man’s face.

-You remember I told you that my grandfather is the CEO of Bones Group, right? T. Jay asked her after they had finished discussing the launch of the show.

Angela nodded in the affirmative.

-Well, he’s going to announce his retirement at the next board meeting in about a month, and name me his successor…

-That’s great! The lady had congratulated.

-Are you interested in becoming the second most influential person around in the nearest future? He asked, looking intently at the young woman.

Seeing her questioning look, he went further:

-I like you a lot, Angela. Be my girlfriend and I’ll make you the most influential woman in the media…

This was certainly the boldest yet the most inappropriate declaration that Angela had ever had.

-I’m not asking for an answer now, T. Jay continued. However, know that T. Jay always gets what he wants, He added with a smile.

Angela had left his office that day with a million questions going through her mind. For some reason, she believed that his last statement carried more meaning than it seemed. That night, she had contacted Jolie, a friend of hers who specialized in investigative journalism. She had asked Jolie to find everything she could on T. Jay. Meanwhile, Angela kept preparing for the first episode of the show, even though she did so with a reduced level of enthusiasm.

The “big day” had finally come; Angela was sipping the cup of coffee that the assistant had handed her when she received a call from her friend Jolie.

-Hi Angie, I found something on that T. Jay, and it really doesn’t smell good.

Angela shrunk on her seat, getting ready to listen to Jolie's findings.

-Four claims of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior have been filed against him in the last 18 months by his former close female collaborators. But, the claims were either withdrawn after a while or dismissed for lack of evidence. It seems that this guy is using his influence to cover up his dirty deeds...

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