Being an African American in a predominately Caucasian industry can honestly be exhausting. I believe that many of us have become conditioned to understand that many people are simply ignorant to what many thing but in this particular case, Blackness and things that happen in the Black community.
Given this, I have tried to balance the concept of creating teachable moments. A teachable moment is an opportunity that presents itself when someone either does something improperly, insensitive or are simply ignorant. Creating those teachable moments are a way to educate the ignorant. But there are certainly ways to do it properly.
Last summer after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, is when the Charleston church shooting took place. While many of the people in my office here celebrating that historic win, I was mourning the loss of my Black brothers and sisters. Here, I created a teachable moment by letting my fellow interns know what tragedy was taking place, and turning to the news allowing for them to understand what was taking place.
Lastly, I have created a safe place for my peers to ask me those ignorant questions, so that they have a better understanding of Blackness, Black culture and the Black community before entering the world with ignorant views.