Little brown girl, white man’s world

264008_10150275426913933_6043823_nBeatriz Mallory
Newfoundland, PA

My father was one of the first black men to work at IBM in the late 50’s; my mother a Puerto Rican who migrated to NY to go to college. My father embedded this mantra in my head from a very age. I was a “little brown girl” in a world dominated by people we could never be. Thus, I had to be not just as good at everything as any white person could be — I had to be far better. This tenet was not lost on a growing mind experiencing integration unfold as IBM transferred us from city to city, but the constant pressure to be perfect were to ricochet through our family’s complex life, and still reverberate today.

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