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Your Worth is More Than the Table

woman in black blazer sitting on chair holding blue book

Stop accepting seats at tables where you’re worth more than the whole table…

In this society, there are corporations and entities that feel they are entitled to determine people’s worth. In this system, however, it is reflective of the violence that has taken place to make people believe that these entities have value. I mean that, none of these establishments gained their wealth by hard work, but reparations paid to them from slavery, false privilege established by violence, theft of ideas, and underpaying/undervaluing people who have contributed the greatest to society. Yes, when slavery ended, slave owners were paid reparations and their families benefitted for generations, but I will get into that later, the point is to say that the people determining your value are not moral in their analysis. This society is based on a classism that is forced, and often devalues the hardworking, by rewarding the violent and scamming. None of us know how we got here, we all just ended up here and this group of people feels they make the rules when none of us know how we get here. I make my own rules then. Listen…

I believe and fully live by the fact that I determine my worth. I had a job one time that was millions of dollars in debt, and they were blaming us for not working extra hard to get them out of debt. The debt was a result of their own misjudgments, they sold the company to a corporation that was known for mishandling their businesses, and as a result thousands of employees and students lost their jobs and education just like that in a matter of days. They were under investigation by the department of education, lost their title 4 funding (financial aid), and were left with 8 locations out of 30 around the country, this used to be a very reputable school around the country and fell within 1 year. I came in the job and was one of the top performing, but when it was time for the business to face their faults, they started blaming us. Now of course the only 2 Black women there, myself and another, challenged and wanted to get to the truth and the bottom of things. We did not sit silent and let them tell us whatever, we asked very specific questions and demanded very specific answers. I remember telling my “boss” and everyone in there, “I knew my value before I got here, and I know my value now, and when I leave my value will be the same, no job will make me feel less than.” Obviously, all the white people disagreed with me, they said it was my job to stay loyal and help the company. I said again, “I know my purpose before I got here, I know my purpose now, and when I leave my purpose will be the same, this is just a job, it does not determine my worth.” Imagine, a corporation that was scamming students, wanted us to help scam students, and misleading people wanted to make us feel that somehow it was our fault for not wanting to stay loyal and help them get out of 6 million dollars in debt. I literally never once questioned myself, and when a disgruntled employee came in and started threatening people with his loose dog (and I believe a weapon), I left that job. The environment was toxic, I was sick, and I said I don’t care what happens, I need to get out of here. Of course I was met with doubt, but again, my life is valuable because I say so and I carry myself that way. I don’t just accept seats at tables or sit at tables because someone says I should sit there, I either don’t sit, or I get up when it’s not valuable to me.

Listen; in the best job I had, the boss was fair, she valued our growth, she trusted us, and she emphasized maintaining balance. The workplace was productive, the employees were like family, and she paid our worth. It was not so hard to just be a decent human being. That is what people need to understand, if the way I’m being treated matches how I value myself, that is productive. In this society, people have been taught to just accept and be grateful for any opportunity. Especially Black people, the number one thing I’ve heard in conversations between Black people is “just be happy to have a job, it doesn’t matter, a job is better than nothing”. I always disagree because when Black people are historically the hardest working and least paid, and at a time not paid at all, then it becomes a question of “when are we going to demand our worth?” I’m the person who tells people to demand their worth, and ask for their worth, and they’ll disagree with me, that they just accept it just to get by. I’ve even been told by people so “woke”, that “this is the white man’s world and we just have to live in it”. Listen, I worked in HR and I remember this 21/22 year old white boy came in and was making $120,000 for an administrative assistant job. Meanwhile the Black women administrative assistants were making $50,000 after 10 years. Again, it is racism that has been violent, to make us believe that somehow an opportunity from a white man is more important than our worth. I remember telling you all the story about when I was working at a temporary job for a reputable worldwide company grading state exams, there were about 100 of us. I remember when it was time to submit our time, they changed up the pay on us to $2 less, I fought it. I remember the lady next to me specifically saying “you’re not Obama, sit down” and everyone around me telling me they were just going to accept it, and telling me to leave it alone. I remember skipping past the supervisor and going straight to the director, and in MINUTES, the pay was changed to the correct pay. The whole room was congratulating and thanking me, and the lady who told me I’m not Obama? She wanted to have lunch with me. LOLOLOL.

I demand my worth everywhere, if I am in the grocery store and I notice the white customer was greeted with “hello, how are you today, how may I help you?” and I’m greeted with “what’s up?”, I demand the “hello, how are you today, how may I help you?” because I can, and nobody will ever tell me not to, I am spending my money, right? I do not accept what’s given to me if it’s not what I’m worth, and if you can’t give it, I walk away. That is resistance in micro form, and it works! You just have to try.

What will you do to demand your worth today?

Listen, I created Melanated Gem to help people remember their worth all day long. Jewelry is self expression, and this is self expression with a cause. Check me out rocking the Melanecklace and the Melanated Bracelet yesterday!

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