To Be Considered Equal

“If you are going for a job, and all the white people applying for that job have a high school diploma, you better have a college one. And if all the white folks have a college diploma, you better have a Masters. And, if they all have Masters, you better have a PhD.”

This is what my Grandmother told me. Growing up, I heard it over and over again.

In order to be considered equal (not “assumed” — because we never are and never have been — “considered”), we had to be better. For us, equal did not mean “the same”. It meant “better”. Because of the color of our skin, we had to be better just to be allowed in the room. To even have a chance. Just to keep our application from going straight into the trash bin.

I will note that my Grandmother had a PhD. As did each of her siblings.

She insited everybody outside of her family call her Dr. Southall. She never let them forget.