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ESSENCE Poll: What Did Your Parents Tell You About Being a Black Woman in the Workplace?

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Denzel Washington and daughter Olivia Washington

Denzel Washington is, without a doubt, among Hollywood's most respected actors his latest movie Flight is already getting Oscar buzz and puts him in line for his fourth Best Actor nomination. During a recent discussion at the Hollywood Reporter's annual actor's roundtable, Washington shared some advice he'd given to one of his daughters, who appears to be pursuing a career in Hollywood:

"I tell my daughter - she's at NYU - I say: 'You're Black, you're a woman, and you're dark-skinned at that. So you have to be a triple/quadruple threat.' I said: ‘You gotta learn how to act. You gotta learn how to dance, sing, move onstage.' That's the only place, in my humble opinion, you really learn how to act. I said: ‘Look at Viola Davis.' I said That's who you want to be."

Of course, Washington's observations of Hollywood isn't news to most of us; just as a parent sharing some hard truths about their child's career path is to be expected. We want to hear from you: What did your parents tell you about being a Black woman in the workplace?

QUESTION:
What did your parents tell you about being a Black woman in the workplace?
That I'd have to work harder because I was a Black woman.
67%
That my skin color and gender didn't matter, and that my hard work would be recognized.
6%
They never discussed it.
26%
Total votes: 351

Filed Under: What You Said
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