What does double Minority mean?

By pearl - February 04, 2014

My understanding of what minority means is a group of people who hold few positions of power, which can be based on human characteristics like race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or culture. They coexist but are mainly subordinate to the dominant group. This explains why even though women are slightly over 50%(according to 2011 census) they are still considered minorities. Being a double minority means being part of two different minority groups like myself I am a black female. It could also be based on sexual orientation,or someone with parents from two different minority groups.

I spent the first 18 years of my life in Cameroon, where majority of the people looked like me racially and in a family of 4 girls. So we all had to learn how to do everything including the "Man chores". Although my birth country like many African countries is dominated by men, I still never considered myself a minority.

But moving to America off course meant I became a minority. But never had I heard of double minority. I remember the first time I heard it. It was my last semester in community college and my mentor said "You are a good student and a double minority. You never have to pay for college." Double minority! Double minority! Double minority..it played in my head for awhile. Then I realized I was a double minority because I was not only black but I was a female.

My mentor was right. I received a first class education at 1/4th of the cost thanks to all the scholarships I received. Being in a school with 33% women (according to US news) and 10% African Americans(my observation based on the classes I took), I was the scholarship magnet. From Google, to Oracle, to Intel to Cisco and much more, all these companies paid my ticket through college. I was and I am still very grateful for it. My single mom would never had been able to put 3 kids through college without it. These scholarships were however 50% merit and need based so it never affected me. Like every other student, I had to work hard to get a good GPA. The teacher definitely did not grade based on race or gender..

My big question is, is it the same in the real world? How do you differentiate between merit and affirmative action?


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  1. Interesting perspective..it's a double edged sword. The line becomes blurry due to overlapping obstacles in real world...other factors apart from race and gender ( perspective, world view, religion, politics, background, financial standing, mentorship) contribute to success/failure out here in the jungle!

  2. Thank you for the great insights :). I am still under construction..

  3. Wow Pearl I lack words but this is so impressive, inspirational
    and be rest assured you will grow more

  4. @Ronny Thanks for the kind words. I wont disappoint :)

  5. @Ronny Thanks for the kind words. I wont disappoint :)