Waking Up White: Chapter 19

Chapter 19: My Good Luck

The Reading

The author discusses the beginning of her adulthood, in which she volunteers (and does recognize that as a luxury that not everyone can indulge) at a place recommended by a friend of her parents, and then gets handed her first real paying job – walking in the door as a member of management.

The Study Question

Have you ever benefited from family connections and/or family funds to further your career? Get into a school? Attain housing? From which racial group were those family connections?

One year, when wildfires were rampaging across New Mexico and causing health issues for me, my husband suggested I go back to Seattle and visit my sister for a week.  That week happened to be the week a job was advertised in the newspaper. I applied for it, and got it – it was the reason I moved home from the desert to the Pacific Northwest. If it hadn’t been for my sister’s subscription to that local paper…

I’m not being a smart aleck, really.  By the time I was in high school, my dad was the last living member of his family. My mom’s mother came to visit us now and again over the years; other than that, i barely know her family. I can count on one hand the number of times I have made the trip to the east coast to see them. They have never come to the west coast to visit us. I don’t recall ever living in a single neighborhood or community for longer than a year til high school (that was two years each). The concept of “family connections” and “networks” was utterly foreign to me for more than half my life, and I am still learning the basics of how it works.

The fact that I was sitting in my sister’s living room, paging through her Sunday paper, is the closest I have ever come to having a family member influence my professional or fiscal life.

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Stephen’s Chapter 19 post

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6 thoughts on “Waking Up White: Chapter 19

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  1. Thanks for sharing the stories. I didn’t remember your telling me of your New Mexico life. For some reason, I thought you were always “here” on the West Coast.

    1. You could be forgiven for missing it. 😉 I’m not really a desert person, but I had to make a 7-year side trip to Albuquerque to find m’love and lure him [insert joke about nixies and their relationship to sirens] to the Pacific Northwest.

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