[Editor's Note: "Part 2" is a continuation of the same article, published online as "Part 1."]
Audrey: Among the whole of life experiences, employment is a central issue for me. Until I lost my first job in 1989, employment was one of the elements that I used to define who I am. Lack of employment sends a message of unworthiness to my brain. On the other hand, being sufficiently educated to be able to command an array of jobs is truly worthy.
As Aryana and I dialogued while she prepared to complete her period of education, I thought that she would be employed in no time flat. After all, she was now Dr. Bates. But the aftermath of the bombing at the World Trade CEnter on 9.11.01 has resulted in employment being scarce. Aryana expressed frustration at the increasing difficulty in securing employment, and I presumed I could help. I heard on a local radio station the advertisement of a job fair being held at a local Baptist Church. I thought that this would be an opportunity for her to secure some employment, even if it was not exactly what she was looking for.
As we journeyed there, I played for her the new CD by India Arie, Acoustic Soul, and talked about the cut "Video." "I'm not your average girl from your video / my worth is not determined by the price of my clothes / I've learned to love myself unconditionally, because I am a Queen." When I heard this song I thought it interesting, because I've always thought of myself in this way...a "Queen" in the sense that I am worthy of all God's blessings, and seek in all my living to experience all of them. It was the latest CD about which I had become excited, and I was sharing it with anyone who would listen.
We arrived at the church, and all the parking spaces on the grounds were taken. The cars had spilled over onto the streets around it. We fell into line. This church is located in Newark, in the black neighborhood, and the majority o fhte folks in this line were African American. As the line progressed, we could see that it snaked around the auditorium, through some doors and downstairs to the exhibit hall, where the exhibits were. This promised to be a great lesson in patience.
As I looked around the room, I saw a brother