“Always take the moral high road. Always. There are no options. Don’t let anyone rob you of your humanity and basic dignity.”
I can sit here and tell you all manner of fiction around what it means to be an African-American professional in this country or, as in my case, in institutions of higher education. I can dress conservatively – or not – in suitable, professional attire; I can style my hair in its natural state or add extensions and various chemicals; and I can “race-talk” with the best of them – speaking forth all of the appropriate, feel-good racial platitudes.
But this is the reality.
In assessing anyone – me, your aunt, your best friend – always concern yourself with what she does, not what she says. Concern yourself with what’s in an individual’s head, not what’s on it; pay careful attention to how people choose to clothe their inner man/woman, not the outer, because the inner man/woman always triumphs in the end. It will not be disadvantaged.