Continuing in my celebration of Latino Heritage Month... Only like 3 days left. So I decided to look at professional America and some things i've noticed. Thanks for reading.
1) Lose your sense of entitlement
One of the things that I admire about my Latino Professionals is they really do not feel a sense of entitlement or feel like they are entitled to anything because they are a minority. This does not mean they do not take advantage of programs to improve diversity or that are targeted at minorities this means that they do not use it as a crutch. They understand that you will have to work hard, you will have to put the time and effort in, and you will have to sometimes work your way up through unconventional methods because traditional doors are not open.
2) Learn to assimilate while not losing your culture
I feel that sometimes Black professionals are so concerned that their employers are trying to rape them of their culture and turn them into some Uncle Tom or some type of “Oreo.” I think that we sometimes can get so caught up in this that we become defensive. I admire Latino professionals because they manage to keep a good balance of being able to assimilate into corporate America, but be able to keep their culture. I think the key to doing this is to be able to separate that at home you have culture, but at work you have your profession. You should keep the two very separate, they’re different constructs.
3) Stick together, support your people
More and more organizations are always being developed. Over the last few years I have seen several Latino organizations being created in the professional space to support their people. I admire their cohesiveness as a people. They do a great job in my opinion of using their collective efforts in a professional manner to close the gap between them and the majority counterparts. We can learn from this and do this ourselves. Let’s begin to notice how some of our organizations such as NABA, Black MBA, CBC, etc. are weakening and losing their relevance and let’s have a revival and bring these programs back to where they need to be to support our people.
4) Entrepreneurship (Most Black people can’t even spell that ish)
I think that Black professionals as well as Latin professionals are doing a good job with Entrepreneurship, but I think it should not be discounted that the rate of Latin owned businesses opening are clearly exceeding those effort of us Black professionals. To piggyback off of my last point, we have to support each other, but moreover we need to be sharing that entrepreneurial language. (Let me preempt that I think this is a talent shared by African and Caribbean Black folk too, maybe this is just for us, African Americans to take heed.)
Education has always been important to us. I admire that many of my Latino friends are like addicted to school. An undergraduate degree isn’t enough, a masters is the minimum. Certifications are a must. Be a doctor, a lawyer, etc. I admire this. And to think, Black people have been in this country for longer and this seems to still not be a priority for us.
I’m going to preemptively address some of your comments before I close. I should have prefaced this entire discussion with letting you know that Black encompasses a lot. I get a lot of comments from people who are like, I’m from Ghana and my parents instilled this in me, or I’m from Jamaica and my parents told me to… That’s all well and good, but when I looked at the things that I admire about “Luppies” I looked at the entire gambit of Black folk. Not just one country, one class, or one geographic area. So keep in mind, this is not a time for people to become separatist Black folk.
Neither is it a time for people to “Lil’ Ma” the spotlight. Listen, I think that Black people are beautiful and we are doing our thing. In 2009, we have made so many leaps and bounds that our ancestors would be more than proud of us today in these last days of our Lord. But let’s be able to sometimes take our seats and give a round of applause.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts Buppies and for those Luppies who are reading your thoughts as well. Happy Latino Heritage Month and I encourage all to take some time this month and educate themselves on something new pertaining to the month.