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Unchained. Unbothered.

May 15, 2020

Born and bred in the Bronx, Jackie Andalcio has taught high school in her hometown for three years. Her insular life as a Black girl raised in the New York City borough most known for its working class communities of color was in stark contrast to the life she discovered in college. On this episode, she talks about how the overwhelming whiteness of her college was one of many things that unsettled her once she became an adult. Jackie shares that in many ways, the role she played as peacekeeper in her family made her anxious and ill-equipped for dealing with the common travails of young adulthood. She had to learn how to advocate for herself in school, at the doctor’s office and eventually at work. An attractive woman of 25, Jackie is also balancing the fine act of making room for love, but not allowing an insincere lover to step over boundaries. She shares how she’s become more conscious of the relationship prototype that Black women are encouraged to seek: suffering and sacrifice until a man realizes you’re worth a relationship. She provides examples in pop culture and in everyday life of this “sassy” Black woman who complains about being treated poorly, but who does nothing about the poor treatment. She is getting better at ending relationships that take that shape as soon as they start. A Christian woman, Jackie also acknowledges the church’s historical allegiance to patriarchal archetypes have often led women of her mother’s generation to believe that this model of wife-as-sufferer is noble. Young Christian women her age, thankfully, reject such conditioning. Because she is committed to family and community, Jackie is beginning to see the need to create a path that is hers alone. “To consider myself free,” she says, “I need to be able to pursue the vision and desires I have for my life over anyone else’s vision or desire for me.”