Black Sapphire

This book makes an analogy of a black sapphire gemstone with stereotypical treatment of Americans against African American Women, the effects of an army of American women being ignored, devalued and hidden in plain sight! An ordinary, naturally formed rock begins deep inside the caverns of the earth. Unnoticed, uncut, and unpolished, it has no brilliance and no luster.When outside pressure is placed upon, underneath and around it, it rises to bring out and up to the surface something unique, authentic, beautiful, and valuable. These are natural treasures, hidden in plain sight—a resource, at a glance, just under the surface. A missed treasure hidden deep in the earth, just waiting to be discovered. So to the people, and in the case of this memoir, a Black woman who represent millions of Black women can be hidden, prejudged, ignored, marginalized, cajoled, and abused because of society’s decision to see them as a caricature, a joke, a buffoon, a nag, and in a negative connotation a “black sapphire.”This story is of a Black woman coming of age in the United States of America over several decades. She stumbles into her discovery that she is viewed through a different lens than her white counterparts. She is judged, contrary to the adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover. She is judged by the cover of her book—the color of her skin and not by the content of her skills, talent or character. Likewise, the adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” words can be abusive and inflict lifelong hurt, like ghost in your memory and minds, hanging around to haunt and hurt you again.Treated as a “third-class” citizen or as no citizen at all by fellow Americans is the story of millions who happen to be Black and female. Seen, yet not seen except as surface, superficial, and annoying outsiders, locked out of the mainstream of society, intentionally excluded so that their voices, dreams, needs, potential and desires are ignored, unrealized and unfulfilled. The effect is a national pool of talent, skills and human resources wasted. This book is a tribute to African American women as a natural valuable treasure, unrecognized, unvalued, hidden in plain sight.

--V. L. Harris

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