Twice as Hard, Half as Far

A post by LTAR member
Hilda Wright

Hard work should be expected in order to achieve, particularly great things, but when it’s you working twice as hard as everybody else, just to achieve the minimum, then grave questions must be asked. My parents (In their thick Nigerian vernacular) broke the utopian doctrine that I engendered, that ‘hard work forever pays’,“ you have to work twice as hard to get half as far my daughter. They won’t promote your worth only your failings. You’ll need to work harder than them for longer than them, to be seen as half of what they are”. This was at 12 years old.

My black friends were all told the same, and we all carry that heavy feeling and pass it down to our children- even now I see the pressure I put on my kids and have to bite my tongue when they ask ‘why can’t they always go and play like Tom and John, why do they need to always ‘achieve’’ and I want to scream “because Tom and John won’t traverse the same path that you will, they won’t have the same obstacles you will. You are black my child and the world has a real problem with that…

I can’t single handily eradicate discrimination (as my sister keeps chastising me over) but I can try to shed light on it’s existence, to precipitate change, so as a collective we can hopefully challenge what I feel I can only stare in at, in dismay, from the outside. ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant’ (Justice Louise Brandeis) and I believe we have some cleaning to do. So let’s go shine!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s