Voices of Agile—My Name is Anu

August 4, 2020

When Braintrust launched our first Voices of Agile Open Forum in July, we wanted to generate conversation with people of color in our industry regarding issues of representation and other pertinent topics related to bringing Agile into underrepresented communities.

In addition to holding the forums, we are launching a series of blog posts featuring people of color. We are thrilled to have Anu Smalley, CST and beloved Braintrust team member, kick off the series.

I have lived on this planet for 52 years, the first 21 in India and the past 30 here in the United States. I have experienced my share of racism. 

Even in India I am considered a “Darkie” or a “Kalu” when compared to others in my family. My grandmother was among the people who made me feel “less than”. She would put powder on my face to make me look fairer or less dark. My mom would wipe off all the powder and tell me I was beautiful as is. My mom – my hero!

In the US, things are same but different – I went from being called Darkie to brown. The past few years I have been traveling with my US passport so I can prove I am American. When I travel with my white stepdaughters, I get the LOOK.  The usual assumption is I am the nanny or the help.

The micro aggressions are equivalent to a death by a 1000 paper cuts. 

To my Indian friends – I am not Indian enough – I am too American.

To my American Friends – I am too Indian – I am not American enough. 

To my colored friends – I am not doing enough as a colored woman

To my non colored friends – I have never been seen as a colored woman

My name is Anu – I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a friend, a trainer, a coach, a human…

My name is Anu – I love the beach, sunshine, jasmine flowers and scent, music and dance….

My name is Anu – I am scared of bugs of any kinds even the little lady bugs…

My name is Anu – why does the color of my skin matter?


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