blaze a trail


The following is a piece of a thread of Twitter chat I participated in a month ago.

@skibison: @NOMArchitects A2: Do you still really need to blaze ure own path? Have there not been enough examples to follow? #NOMAchat August 31, 2011, 12:43 am

@MelissaRDaniel: I wish I was tough like the pioneer women b4 me. But y should I struggle w/ same issues they did? @katherinerw @AIAWLS @AWAinLA #NOMAchat August 31, 2011, 12:44 am

@katherinerw: @skibison @NOMArchitects if u’r the only blk woman in your firm – YES! #nomachat August 31, 2011, 12:45 am

The discussion was the first ever NOMA twitter chat. Kudos for embracing the opportunity to do something new engaging with technology.

I was struck by a question asking if we still have to “blaze trails.” The we in question being African-American architects and in my case, African-American women. In my mind, as the only black woman in the architecture department at my firm years ago, I was walking uncharted paths in that firm. Yes I had outside examples, but not an in-house guide, who looked like me and probably would have dealt with similar issues, as others may have benefited from. Even in 2011, I walk into meetings and other professional situations as the only black woman in the room. Depending on the setting sometimes this surprises me; other times I just expect it. So I say yes, we still have plenty of trails to blaze. It would be nice if all the doors were open and the rugs all laid out for us. I will say that I have never had a door slammed in my face – figuratively or literally – so at least we have made progress.

See the entire chat thread here.

Your thoughts?

One Response to “blaze a trail”

  1. you are clearly a trail blazer. wondering if you have more company with a group like architects for humanity.