Sandra Taitt-Eaddy and Doreen Richardson

Recorded August 21, 2021 Archived August 21, 2021 47:48 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby021001

Description

Friends, Doreen Richardson (52) and Sandra Taitt-Eaddy (58), discuss their Barbadian identity and the differences in their experience as migrant women.

Subject Log / Time Code

DR asks STE about her immigration experience from Barbados to the United States. STE asks DR to share her story.
DR reflects on leaving Barbados, saying your family is more than just the people you live with; it’s the surrounding community.
DR shares her experience living in Connecticut with her mother and sister and going into business school.
STE describes her experience of moving into a majority white neighborhood and school and the way her identity was being rejected.
DR asks STE when she thinks she found her tribe and her stride.
DR reflects on the role her intellect played in her transition into Connecticut.
STE shares that her American Dream is to feel safe, and that the American Dream can turn into a nightmare, sometimes.
DR reflects on not finding America any less hostile than when she first arrived.
STE discusses being both Barbadian and American.
DR says as she shares her hope for oppression to be eradicated from the United States.

Participants

  • Sandra Taitt-Eaddy
  • Doreen Richardson

Recording Location

Virtual Recording

Partnership Type

Outreach

Initiatives


Transcript

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00:03 Hello, I am 50 58 / 21. I am in Windsor Connecticut. And I am talking today with a good friend and compared to Sentra.

00:28 Sandra Tate meeting.

00:33 Hi, my name is Sandra. Taitt-eaddy. IM 58 years old. Today, is Saturday, August 21st, 2021. I am living in the city of Hartford, in the state of Connecticut. My partner for this conversation today is my good friends are in Richardson.

00:55 So Sandra, we both emigrated here at very young age. I was 16. How old were you again? I was the tender age of twelve. It was just after my father's birthday that I came actually not even 2 weeks.

01:13 Wow, and come in from the small island of Barbados. 166 4 miles. What was it like for you when you got here first evening? How did you feel did you come to New York?

01:29 So so yes, and I think it's important to to add, since you mentioned, New York that I came from a rural, a rural Village in Barbados, even though it was what we call the highway today, but it was a rural Village and here, I was without much. Notice mind you without without much. Without without much notice here. I am on the flight. I think it was Pan, American flight to New York, to join my parents. So, we were picked up by Dennis Goering and he was a migrant Farm worker. I later learned, and he had come from Florida and migrated to Connecticut with Mary had kids wife left him. He was my mother's really good friends and my father and my sister and brother had recently joined my mother here. She was the first one here and I remained in Barbados, but six months later they decided I needed to

02:29 Come to and not finish school. Like they had originally planned. So I arrive mr. Goering. He's driving the car. I don't think my mother didn't have a license. I don't think my father was driving at that point. So the friend of the family picked me up. I have to say that I was initially, very impressed. I was impressed but I think they gave me pizza last night and I remember thinking. Yeah, because the Tomato that very heavy Tomatoes, cheesy base was not something. I was accustomed to and I thought you I was very curious child. So I was looking around. I was like, I love the lights. There was so much stuff, like when we got to our apartment in mind you, this was at night when we got back to Hartford. So good night. We got in the apartment. The first thing I noticed that I remember was the fact that there was a tub indoor tub, and the only other place I'd seen that was at my uncle's house and deakins road. So to me, that was, that was a good sign, right? Cuz, you know, we have indoor plumbing. We have a tub.

03:29 Side, the the space that we were living in. So, I mean, was I, I was happy to see my sister because we've grown up together. We separated that January, my brother. We separated in January of 75. I came in July. So we were back together. So that part was exciting seeing my father, of course, but my mother I didn't really know her. So that was, you know, and my last exchange with her was not a very comfortable 10, that remains to be seen, but that was my impression. I I thought it was lots to see.

04:03 How about you?

04:07 Why you're mine was different when I was 16 and I had begged my mother to leave me. If I did not want to come, you know, with all things engraved back in those days parents did not tell children until the very last moment. And so, it was my last year of high school, a secondary school in Barbados, and I had plans actually, it wasn't going to be my last year was the year. I was going to be sitting all levels and my plan was that I was going to go back to secondary schools, Alexandra girls for second-year. 25 tonight with a level and I had been heavily involved in. You know, the building competition was going to study psychology. I knew who I was in that space and I knew what I was doing, I had no interest in coming to America.

05:07 That was my mother's dream which as a child I could not comprehend at the time, but I thought I would be just fine and my father wasn't coming. So I said me and my father who I think on that day for the first time in my life. I felt betrayed by my dad sad sad that a girl child belongs with her mother.

05:31 I'm so and so I remember she told us this in April and we had to leave in June.

05:42 And then basically her words where you have in two months. You're going to be a notch, there going to be a resident alien or something to get all of this, because you're going to be nice to tell you that.

06:00 When I think about that, now, maybe that is why.

06:04 I don't know, but if we arrived at JFK.

06:12 And they brought us to my brother's apartment. My eldest brother lived in New York and Brooklyn that the time in Bedford Stuy, I think.

06:26 And the apartment was very, very strange. It was another high-rise. It was it was Dusty. It was the plumbing, but the plumbing was wonky. Like you didn't know if I was going to work. And unfortunately, the same day that I arrived at JFK is the same day that I got my. And I had a history of really bad. And so not only did I not want to be there. I was not feeling well at all. So we got through the night somehow. My sister came to my eldest sister came to

07:06 Brooklyn to meet us. And so I think we came in August. I think she came to bring jackets for us or something and she was asking me all kinds of questions that night, right? Cuz she didn't seem to know just how much I have grown up. And so we had a big sister little sister chitchat on the bed and my brother's apartment and it was really good to see her and I felt like she was concerned about mean, it's all good, but I just simply did not want to be there and we got to kinetic that next day. She thinks she's at the shop and I we went to Fulton Street and I remember I thought it was drizzling, like it was a light. Mist and I said, oh, the rain is coming and my sister said I wanted to tell you. I was even more horrified. And then I think that someday we got on the bus or Greyhound bus.

08:06 Where we were going to be staying on the weed. Now, would be my eldest sister was staying in Connecticut with my mother's brother who?

08:15 And I'm so my mother myself and my eldest sister we came to Connecticut on the Greyhound bus. I remember feeling such leave when the bus finally turned that corner out of the city and I can see the moon phases because what you like real from the country, so I thought, oh my God, I'm going to actually be able to breathe. I'm just breathing in dust. I'm not just know are here. Like, what is happening? Yeah. I think it's important for me to kind of backtrack to what was going on with me and Barbados late before we left. I was 12. I was attending Saint Michael's girl school, which is the top, as you know, the top Secondary School for Girls at the time quote on quote Top and my parents had agreed that I would remain there and finish.

09:15 It was such a good school. And, but prior to that, my mother was working in the city, and she dropped us off with my grandparents when we were, just like months old. So, I had never actually lived with either of my parents. So, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles raised me and my sister and my brother. So we were literally leaving the, the, the comfort of a small village with family in every direction. Stable Church, Life, stable, school, life, Coming to America, to people, we barely knew AKA my mom cuz she wasn't even around. And I think that's an important point to make because, and what she did and leaving us with my grandparents or something. I know a lot of other people had gone through. I know. I, I mean, so what was you? You said your father was in Barbados and you actually came with your mother, so you can actually came with someone that you knew a new well, so, I'm

10:15 Thinking that you felt more supported perhaps than me, who came to parents, who are basically still strangers cuz we never actually live with them.

10:25 You know, that's an interesting observation that it is. As, you know, your family is more than just the people you live with, its the extended Community, right? It's the teacher in your class, who knows, exactly who your family is, and what their standards are and standards. It's that Headmaster or beyond, what you think the limits are. There's a whole community of people, there is the old woman in your village, who every time she sees you, she asked you how you were doing, you know, you better if there's a whole community of people that support your well-being. Things happen there, too, but she might might because of that Community though, and, because my parents had just a third-grade education, I think, and their mind.

11:25 Going to be successful because they they believe we could be that we had a good school infrastructure. That was letting sure it right. We had the opportunity to go to school. So my parents were not Hands-On parents when it came to education a child and while that might have worked in the Caribbean, it does not work here when it did not work here. So my mother came here with no comprehension of what Society requires a person to be successful or less what it would require for a child to be successful. And so that is where things fell apart. You know, I had said that, you know, leaving the security of a village which you described perfectly with eyes everywhere, a sense of you knowing who you are and then coming to America.

12:25 To an urban center. No less. It took me a while to stop saying. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good day. Good evening to the people. I passed on the street because I immediately noticed, no one was responding and an in Barbados to pass an adult or anyone and not acknowledge their Humanity. Not say good morning or good afternoon. That was a capital crime, especially if you were a child doing that with an adult. So that was one of the things that really struck me about my new home and the fact that I was for the first time, also living in the South End of Hartford, where there were very there were fewer black families that I was used to being around. I had never actually been around anybody. White. I had never, you know, other than one or two classmates or one or two teachers. I had never been in the company of, you know, white people. And for the first time live

13:25 In this this apartment building never lived in apartment, building, always lived in a house and an apartment building with all these white people. And I just remember it being really strange and how curious I was on and how alone I felt because nothing really look the same. You Know, Nothing Was the Same for me at 12.

13:46 And, so what was your impression on the ground when you finally arrived in Connecticut, we

13:55 My uncle lives on the North and apartment in the Blue Hill section, which is predominantly West Indian today. And it was that at the time, it was African Americans in that area at the time that he was there a Norfolk Street and it was a little leafy neighborhood, big houses. Some of the word multi multi family homes, single family homes, and they were just a huge noises and my sister. My my eldest sister was at Central Connecticut, State University of the time. She's going to school full-time and working full-time. And she did all kinds of odd, Nurses Aide jobs. And so she got my mother. Is he doing there today to work as well?

14:49 And so, my mother had to go back to go to Hartford KY to go to go to school and my mother only finish third grade. So my mother is not answering the Nurses, Aide Certificate at Greater Hartford Community College to try and get this license so she can get a job. And what it meant was that the two adults that I knew and trusted and loved me. We're not around my sister. I would not, I would not forget, cuz that was on this. Why I came in August 24th? School was going to start in the fall, like a maybe a week or two later. He put me in this pants and the little scrappy t-shirt and said, it was a cotton t-shirt and I said, but it was just the cultural differences. Were just because the clothing that she put me in and she said you're going to go up to the school, you going to go to admissions and you're going to register for classes. Now mind you, I had just gotten here like a week and a half.

15:49 And I told her I wanted to study psychology and I remember and she and this happened the night. We were in New York, and she thought she was doing what was best for me and my family. And she said your mother and father ain't got no kind of money to send you to any kind of school to study psychology. And you are going to go downtown and get a job. And so, no sooner had a rise in Connecticut that passed me off. That, I have to walk to go by myself miles from Norfolk Street. Used to take me about half an hour to walk to school, and I want to have to go to Hartford admissions. I told him who I was? I brought my school transcripts.

16:43 And they still make me repeat classes. I should not hesitate. And I told what I wanted to do, it was a two-year College. I had no concept of what that meant to a four-year College. Like nothing was explained. It just registered for classes or what is mandatory to take this this mess. And so that's how I started school and I have to tell you it took me like maybe eight years to get my associate's degree, even though I went full-time sometimes but that's how fragmented and I was. And so

17:23 Actually, I didn't get my associate's degree until

17:28 What should I start school in 1984? I don't think I finished my associate degree until 1990 or something. I think it was after Erica was born and I only finished it. I think I had finished it, but I didn't graduate. And I only wanted I finished it to graduate so I can get onto Central and finish my bachelor's. And at the time, I continue to study accountant because I had already invested all that stuff in it. Why not? Just say that Alison Howard. Holy and Caribbean happy. Okay. I met people who integrated into society. Yeah. I was going to be this club has some great things together at the bar. And so,

18:24 You know, you tried, you tried to do what you can to make a life out of what, what you think is available. Right? So my experience was okay. So yeah, people didn't speak. That was a big deal for me. I unto this day, like, if you don't speak, I just can't handle it, right? But I came in July. So I actually had a few weeks of living in our neighborhood to kind of get acclimated to the kids around, you know, just, you know, I live in a building with a lot older white families. My mother wouldn't allow us to go outside until they came home from work and that was until like 5:00 5:30, and we couldn't sit in the front. Like the other kids, we have to go in the backyard world. Like nobody else was on. She had a lot of rules. No one could call the phone. You couldn't use her. That my mother just had a very

19:24 She lived alone in and she was still living as if she lived alone, like forgot what we thought, right? So, we met some of the kids in the neighborhood. I remembered my sister and, you know, you know, that my sister got beat up really bad by this girl. Karen Cox for like no reason. My sister is like the most timid person. I know. I don't know why that happened. And it was, it felt very hostile, very quick. And so, for me, when we finally did go to school to Cannella Elementary School in Southend of Hartford. We were, we were, you know, the only West Indian kids at that school and we didn't have any idea about the social makeup of the community River in, right? I remember ask my mother when they were all the black people because I go to the school and you know, they're no West Indians and I think what I meant was where all the West Indians, but my school was predominantly white families.

20:23 And so, not only are my my living with parents. I don't know in a neighborhood that sporran and mixed race and mixed culture. Now. I'm going to a predominantly white school with all these different people that I'm hearing about Greeks and Italians. And I'm hearing about Irish and Puerto Ricans and, you know, and then there are the Black American cash and I'm thinking great there, black kids. Well, little did I know that something about me would be very offensive to them, and that started me down a very lonely road because every day, we would get teased by Sister night about our hear about our clothes about our shoes, about the way we spoke. We got teased about everything, my sister being timid would never try to explain a report. They left her alone. So then I became to Target of daily daily.

21:23 Facts on my identity, I would say I'm from Barbados. They would like, no, you're not, you Jamaican.

21:29 Now the rain now, you know, coming from Barbados, having grown up in the independence age in the first 10 years of our country's Independence, that our identity was Barbadian above all else. I can't tell you how that made me feel it. Infuriated me that, who I present myself to be with being rejected by a ball people, the black kids.

22:03 I'm so I shut down during I shut down and then I just focus on academics. I found the white kids were interesting and I wanted to touch the hair. I wanted to know more, they didn't tease, but they also didn't engage either. It was more like, you know, this is a k through school. They grew up all their lives together. You're a newbie. You got to figure out how to fit in. And so, my school experience was very complex. I did shut down. Then I went from shutting down to trying to be like the black kids and not knowing the socio-economic makeup of the city today. I know that those kids were being bussed into that school from housing projects.

22:46 And of course, they couldn't relate to me, you know, I'm coming from even though a poor family from middle-class values. In terms of, you know, how to how you comport yourself, you know, raising your hand, every time the teacher asked a question. That was me, you know, you, no speaking up. I just felt like I didn't have a sense of these are white people. These were just people like I didn't have that in my thoughts. Every buddy was just curious to me. I'm so it ended up being, very complex, very, very emotionally troubling. And I would go home. And I don't think my mother had any idea what we dealt with them because we didn't know her. And my dad that, well, we just kind of internalized the whole experience.

23:31 So, when did you find your tribe? When would you say you got your bearings and you found your tribe and you found your stride?

23:41 I think once I had my first child and I was forced to come to grips with an identity that I felt, that could make me a good parents. I had to 28 Mechanicsville from 12 to 28 and you have your first child and you're no, beginning to formulate a way of being that feels comfortable in that. Feels that you could be us on something and value to this young person that is now going to be in a hostile environment. Like this was wherever I went, if you were Southern, guess what? I can talk Southern, I could speak Spanish. I just learned to adapt to each environment. I was in, on the surface level, just to avoid being teased, just to avoid being rejected. Just to avoid that sensitive. You're not accepted. That's what America will for me. Initially. Yes.

24:40 So, essentially Sandra you became

24:45 You became a product of what America always claims it is, but never really truly, is it? And that it is a product, but maybe it was talked about about ourselves being a Melting Pot. I don't even know what the hell that means. Does that mean that everything gets blowed onto an ugly Brown mush. Or does that mean, like, when we make soup in the Caribbean that you're able to pick out the sweet sweet potato on the arrow and the breadfruit and put them all in the same bowl with the lovely broth and you can see each other, this thing, two parts of roots and different foods that each carrying around texture and tease and lending a complexity and Beauty to the school or is it supposed to rain in 1975? What? I came to America on my first school year, 07 to 1976 the American Bicentennial.

25:44 History was part of that. My indoctrination to America was American history because in 1976 is America's 200th anniversary. My school is doing everything they can to raise awareness about the 1776 Independence and that whole scene. Well, I got that scene cuz I just left Barbados, where we celebrate independence with such passion that you do. I got with the bicentennial. I was like, this is wonderful. Well, the next year 1977 Roots came out.

26:17 And then I have another dose of reality show you watched Roots, here. You seen Roots here. Like, you're sort of becoming a chameleon of sorts of becoming multilingual. All of the defense mechanism. You're not really, it's not right. It's not something that you're doing out of intellectual curiosity. Yes. It has Shades to it that our maybe even a little bit pathological, right? Cuz you're losing yourself in the process cuz we don't know how did that feel to you? So TV was a big deal for my parents. I mean, we watch the evening news. We watched Roots as a family because because I had been so engrossed in the American

27:17 Centennial celebrations at my school. They literally made us wear the the the the Bonnet and the skirt. We were using the felt pens that that George Washington had warned. We were talking about Betsy Ross and that whole Independence theme it was big in a my school that you're watching Roots. Though. I'm confused now because if I did that last year, why didn't anybody tell me about this thing called slavery? Because now I'm relating that to my experience in Barbados.

27:47 So I went from a while. We were so independent, and all this to wait a minute. Why does this whole Plantation thing and black people, you know, working in the field. Why does that feel so familiar to me when I watch route, because in Barbados, I had read a paragraph about the slave trade at my school, but I thought that was other people. I didn't know that was us.

28:13 Answer Roots, presented me with a problem because now I'm looking at my, my upbringing in a different contacts right now. I'm looking at it from a slavery contacts.

28:24 So that then those two dose two things set me on, it was always about identity for me, you know, seeing Barbados in a book called The Witch of Blackbird Pond. That was set in Wethersfield on that was that was great for me, because I'm like, oh finally, somebody said Barbados, my first identity, while the black kids were looking at me going. You don't think you're black and I'm looking at, what are you talking about? I'm a Bayesian and of course, I'm black. And so, they're all these challenges to my identity that I never had to deal with before.

29:00 So I think it's set me on this path, you know, to learn more about where we came from. So You Think This is why you are so passionate about genealogy today. Absolutely. It was my indoctrination and it probably saved me.

29:17 So, you found, you found something that you that allowed you to formulate?

29:24 A life and identity sense of who you are sensible long and you found a way to, to find your tribe, but I think that because when I first came on history, was where I saw, Barbados, I just followed that because I needed to hold on to that piece of me and I needed to protect it. So, at some point I stopped being Barbadian and I adopted, you know, the, the American, you know, if you can't beat them, join them. So, when you met me Doreen and you said to me, remember you said to me, you know, I didn't seem friendly. Well, I had abandoned my Caribbean, my Barbadian,

30:07 Persona and had, you know, adopted.

30:11 Adopted the American.

30:15 What about you? I mean, how did you how was the transition for you? Once you got to Greater Hartford, do you know, I grew up as a child, who was always praised for being smart. So I think, what was an outlet for me or what?

30:35 Created some kind of a sanctuary for me was I could always rely on my until I so I do them to school. The problem is, is that it was all too freaking. I'm sorry. I might have to say that it was all too familiar, right? Cuz you know when we do o levels in Barbados, that's like a 2-year College exercise, right? So it was still challenging it. And I didn't know how to transition from that and I just any ideas I had about how to get out of that situation. So frightening to me and I do not have a basis for just

31:17 Completely disrupted the expectations like it is why I told I was told I should do this is what I was told the the landscape has I didn't have an Ultimate model that said, no. It doesn't have to be this way. You can do something entirely different. You can you can break that mold. And the funny thing about that is that as a child. I was perceived as somebody who would break the mold. And so that to mean it was it was very conflicted because I found myself getting smaller even though I was getting older. And so I I did what I need to do. I I found books, right? And I would need about any and everything and even though it took me a long time to get through, whom I associate degree.

32:06 I was able to share up a part of my intellect that allowed me to engage with the society that I found myself in. So I got a job. I learned about things for people at work. I acted on those things. I also got married at a young age to someone who is very smart and very syrebral like you just threw myself into raising a family. And so a lot of the decisions I made about myself. Well, within the context of what what do I need to do to provide for my family? What do I need to do to be a good role model for my children? That's only reason why I went back to school and finish my bachelor's and ultimately I got my MBA, but I have to tell you I still cannot continue down that path. That my sister had set for me all this. You know, that that first two days here I never went back to school and is psychology even though about every five years or so. I will look up the school in psychology.

33:06 PhD in Psychology, cuz I still like this morning, in my heart to do. And the funny thing about it is I am encountering people who are seeking my counsel advised and people always say, you know, you're in the wrong, you're in the wrong field, even as a manager of people, in my work, whenever we do 360 evaluation, my my my stuff and also talk, always talk about what a great resource. I was in terms of coaching and mentoring because it was something that came naturally to me. It was something that was always in my heart to do and I think because I had those

33:46 Signals throughout my life. It's often the disappointment of it because I thought that even though I didn't pursue it. I will still in some ways living in a way that's on earth and its ass off of the disappointment. I can attest to that Doreen. Cuz you, and you and you you've been there for me in that way. I really value our friendship for that and I absolutely agree with you. That one of the things that I felt Advantage by was the fact that growing up in Barbados, there was such a high value, placed on education and that I found that that was the area. I was most confident and that ended up being the area that was most reinforced for me, not by this fellow students, but by teachers and other adults. And so as a child you do whatever you're getting attention for is what you're going to grow. And so I began to grow my love for reading everything in for

34:46 Putting my hand in the every time the teacher called on me, but then there were, you know, you're growing intellectually, but emotionally I was stunted emotionally. I was in growing emotionally. I was super challenged every single day to to know who I am and to live by the values that my grandparents raised me with everyday. I was in countering an urban culture. That was consistently hostile, consistently unsafe emotionally. And so that kept me off balance until I had my son and I was like, okay, I got to figure this out. I can't continue down the road of not knowing and not believing in who I am and expect to raise a child, who is healthy, and who knows who he is. So overall, I think my transition here was horrible and I do, I regret it. Absolutely. I go back home and the kids, I left back. There are doing way better than I did here in America, my American Dream.

35:46 Was not my parents. Their values were about working and achieving an American dream of Beijing. Dream of getting a house and land. I think it's kids. Our dream is to feel safe.

36:01 And so we were operating from different value spaces. And so, they're they're drive for ownership for land ownership and Home. Ownership, didn't allow enough room for them to nurture us emotionally. And I think that's what I want people to know. If you can't do both, leave your kids where they are. Let them just Thrive, you know, back in their home country because the American dream can turn into a nightmare sometimes

36:30 You heard everything that you said that to what I write ended up doing?

36:37 Because there were several attempts on my part and Alice part. After we got married to relocate to the Caribbean, he's Romantica. So we live in and see her for about two and a half years. I should we got married in the first two children. And then at some of the point lately, just kept, we just could not at least I could not. I never felt confident about putting words down here and I think I was wrong. I think the kids were probably

37:06 Out of high school, when I decided

37:09 Clearly, I'm still here and so I just don't get why not. I'm going to have to own this America. This American Self because when I came to discover is that I had been here so long that, I mean, you no longer really truly bathe and not in the way that my girlfriend's who are still there and live. There are Bajan. I don't, I remember going home and I was in 2013 in just a little bit of History. So, you know, I serve on the board of education here by town for about 8 years, and after I get off to go to bed, I went home. And I was exhausted, and I have to tell you that at the Civic Enterprise a political and Civic Enterprise. It was the most draining exhausting thing I've ever done and I felt like here, I was trying to advocate for Education. Trying to be a good American citizens. I was drinking buddy, conversations Andres. I wish I could contribute to what credit had been the source of a lot of the isolation. I had felt coming here, but could not name.

38:09 Right. And so, you know that I did the same thing as well. I did count, give me conversations Andres. I I became a teacher. So the very thing that helped both of us to survive leaning on that intellect. Ultimately, was not enough. It's not enough in America, you emotionally as well. You need to be really strong and who you are. That's why I don't, I don't I don't think that strengthen. It's about just your personal strength, right? I think I think America.

38:42 America is like I was trying to get Surly about the Melting Pot. I just need a village. Exactly exactly. And so I thought I'd go for children two-piece of my community. But I have to tell you that it's 2021, and I don't find an America today. That's any less hostile to people like me, people who are black, people who are immigrant. I don't find an America and US forces in what I can find successive years of that's after 34 years of bumping around like a blind person.

39:42 I craved. I just want to feel good about myself. Exactly. I agree with you and how, how do you feel good about yourself when you are in a space that no matter what you do and what you can contribute that you are treated with one of two responses for tonight for who you are and what you come from or it's just not good enough because of 3/4. So you have to do because it's in you to do if you don't you might as well just came in and died. Right in. And in what I think of myself and what what Society thinks of me matters less today than it did. When I first came as a twelve-year-old who all we cared about was, what other

40:42 Thought, no more Machiavellian for me. I am a, I am all of it. I'm Barbadian. I'm American a mother. I am black. I am, I am all of it. And I,

40:55 So while I too have found a space Within Myself and within my family to be who I am and to contribute in ways that feel good to me and that are additive to the people. I care about an even bike session, my community. I am constantly reminded every day. That the struggle is far from over. I am, I share the black and play Association from leadership engagement at work. It's a new year that they started. And it's this year, we decided we would have an education education, because we are Healthcare organization, and its extraordinary to me that people live here in this country and I completely oblivious to the suffering of their neighbors, suffering of a person who works right next to you. I work right next to you, you and I can walk into the same hospital with the same condition. I am a new mother, your new expectant mother. I'm a new expectant mother and if you're white you

41:55 Workout with your child and if I'm black, the chances three times likely than you to walk out without a child or both me and my child. So I think Cummings cannot ignore, right? But I do believe that, you know, we have to learn what that history is and be prepared to challenge ourselves and others around that history. So that so that people aren't operating from this. And operating from, this isn't better. And no matter where we where I think growing up in Barbados. Let me say this, we were part of a dominant numerical majority.

42:55 Safety in that. There's some psychological safety and knowing that we are numerically more powerful, but coming to America living as a minority. It was very difficult because you don't see yourself reflected everywhere like we did when we were kids, but we also have to acknowledge in Barbados. We are not the economic majority. We are the economic minority. Same here in America same everywhere and that's our struggle. You know, how how do we how do we ever, you know, get a equal Plainfield economically?

43:35 How do we do that?

43:37 Well, I suppose that that will continue to be the cause of our lives, right? Because it's just the repercussions are staggering. I think I'll just I'll just

43:51 But I came here. It was not by choice. It was my parents dream. It was, it was their dream for us. And if you ask my mother today, she would feel Vindicated and making that choice because she knew at the time, giving her calls back or where she was in her life that taking this risk for herself. And for her children was probably the best thing she could do. And if, if you got all of the seven kids together, we would say thank you, Mom for doing this for us, right? Thank you. In spite of water. Individual struggles might have been lost. Hope we would say. Thank you Mom for doing that.

44:34 When I learned when my children were going off to college, when I learned that their health outcomes and their economic outcomes. We're going to become synonymous in line with the outcomes of African Americans whose lives. We've been here whose whose Blood Sweat, and Tears rooted in the soil in the country. I was devastated because I thought to myself, I stayed I could have left at any point in time and gone back. And I bet that I could stay there with my family there. I stayed. And I raised my children here and my children, suffer psychologically, from institutional racism, from all of the things that are systemically ingrained in her this country to people who are black and brown and now my nieces are having children. So now I've got great news.

45:29 And I worry for them. I I want I don't I don't want our narrative a hundred years from now on storycorps is doing this with another set of people that the story sounds very much. That's all I have to tell you that, I struggled. But if we face covid-19, I struggle to be hopeful.

45:53 It's beautiful. I'm glad that we're leaving this narrative, Doreen and I thank you for coming for this conversation. And I think hopefully there's something that we've said that our children and grandchildren, Greg rental in one here, one day and that they will learn from the things that we we share today and build on it.

46:21 I hope that my children find their way and that, my nieces and their children, find their way.

46:32 I have American find this way because their holds and relations of people who are being born into circumstances and respect his of who, there are as individuals and what they can contribute, never, ever, able to take wings and soar and fly. And when we think about the swans and of human life talent and ingenuity.

46:57 Rooted Cody by the fact that we are black to justify some other person's atrocity. I just

47:08 I don't know if note, all I can say, is that. I hope that for generations to come.

47:18 Really like inside, we will.

47:23 And one way or the other, we will survive.

47:27 Righteous. And we will survive and thrive because that's what we do.

47:35 We will be here.