"Black women must follow [a certain "home code" within their own community], such as speaking a certain way or behaving submissively in church or with their partners"(Jones & Shorter-Gooden, 2003).While sitting discussing this case study topic with my mother (an educated Mature/Traditionalist), she found great interest in how Black women have to behave differently in different environments. She began making statements like the following:
"When you're around black people you've been raised up with, then go away to school [and] come back, you have to change your tone or they'll say you're acting white."These comments are the voices I hear when having inner dialogue about who I am as a Black Millennial woman. Such comments add to the schizophrenia I experience within.What are your "home codes" and how do you cope with them?
"You have to change your behavior or they'll say 'Oh you think you white.'"
" Even at home with your husband, if you make more money you have to be careful. I used to make more money than your father and he was mad (laughs humorously). I could barely say anything in the house."
"I had to keep the family together."
"The Air Up There: Tiptoeing Through the Halls of Power" by Elfi Martinez. OD Practitioner.
Jones, Charisse and Shorter-Gooden, Kumea (2003). Shifting: Based on the African American Women’s Voices Project. Harper Collins Publishers: New York.
Related Reading: "If you were black, she said, you had to be twice as good to be half as good."