Gender Analysis Essay

Submitted By Lamar2
Words: 2184
Pages: 9

Lamar Johnson

7 July 2013
Interview Project Living in Oakland California since May of 1990, I have never wanted to gain a better understanding of someone else’s race and/or ethnicity until today. With the array of things going on in my personal life, it never seemed to peak my interest. However, in order for me to explore the racial identity of someone else, I interviewed an individual by the name of Elizabeth Cowart; a young 5’5 female age twenty-two. Born on August 6, 1990 in Oakland California at Providence Hospital now known as Summit Hospital, Ms. Cowart emphasized not believing in the idea of race because biologically it is dead and is a mere social construct perpetuated through socialization however; her ethnic background would be European if forced to specify. Until Elizabeth was four, she lived in a dual parent household unfortunately; her parents legally separated leaving her to be raised primarily by her mother and grandmother. “Every blue moon” she had brief encounters with her birth father but mostly longed to fill the void of his absence. In 2005, her grandmother passed due to brain and lung cancer so, she was forced to rely solely on her mother until reaching the age of eighteen. Still, outside of her household she belonged to a large family because her mother had six other siblings who collectively; had twenty-five grand and great grandchildren. However, her interaction with that part of her family was limited so to her, “it was as if they never existed.” Elizabeth’s mother Denise Donaway worked full-time for Alameda County Medical Center Highland Hospital in the Physical Therapy Department. She served as a Medical Clerk for twenty years before retiring in 2011. Before that job, she worked as a Claims Operation Specialist for Blue Cross for sixteen years and attained three degrees simultaneously. In addition, she was the Co-CEO of an event planning company called “Affairs of the Heart” that was based in both California and Michigan and hosted several large events including; weddings, funerals, and birthday galas. Moreover, for ten years Ms. Cowart’s mother was a personal consultant for a company she spear headed called “Sister Within” that was largely about women empowerment, self-esteem building, career development, and women understanding their place in a male dominated society. Additionally, she was heavily involved in religious activities at the church she has attended for over twenty five years and was elected a Steward, which is the executive team for the church. Lastly, Ms. Donaway volunteered in the Oakland Unified School District at sporting events and inside the classroom, she also dressed as Cat in the Hat and promoted learning and literacy during lunch time at multiple elementary school sites. According to Cowart, “the highest level of education her mother received was a Master’s degree in Organizational Development and Human Resources from the University of San Francisco. She also received a Bachelor of Science degree from the same institution in Organizational Behavior.” Ms. Cowart’s mother graduated from high school a year early and pursued higher academia at Vista College which is now called Berkeley City College; she obtained a certificate in Medical Terminology and Associates in Administration of Justice. Currently, Elizabeth is a full-time Same Day City Courier for Federal Express but has a strong background in Customer Service, Administration, Security and Retail. Before employment with FedEx, she was an Administrative Assistant at California Institute of Integral Studies for nearly two years and also a Site Supervisor governing the security team at two prestigious Oakland residential properties. Additionally, she has years of experience as an event coordinator because of her involvement with her mother’s event planning company. Lastly, she held multiple part-time jobs throughout college which included; Target, Toys R Us and Jamba Juice. Her