No, I did not speak to her. I had been in close proximity to the woman a few times a day earlier and she didn’t acknowledge me, even when I smiled and attempted to engage. Yes, I have worked with her a few years back to back, doing the same work, for the same contractors, in the same circle, at the same hotel, in the same city. I’m one of a handful of Black reviewers. It’s pretty hard to forget you’ve worked with me for 4-5 years.

White people don’t remember Black faces for whatever reason. Same thing used to happen to me at a multicultural church I attended. They loved me in church, an hour later in the Walmart they would blow right by me like they hadn’t hugged me previously. So, I don’t go out of my way to make White people remember who I am.

I didn’t speak intentionally because it’s not my place to make her acknowledge, remember or respect me. I knew who she was the moment the first time I saw her after working with her for years. Why didn’t she recall my name and/or face?

She didn’t because she didn’t care to, that’s why.

In short to answer your questions, yes I knew her. Yes, I had worked with her before. Yes I knew her name. But when I spoke to her in our general meeting, she never acknowledged me. As a matter of fact, she breezed past my Black face to socialize with a group of White women. I’m never going to beg a White person who should know me to see or acknowledge me. Ever. Even if Ellen couldn’t remember my name, she should have remembered my face because we work on small teams if three people for multiple years. That’s professional

It’s adult.

The other woman on our panel remembered me. She and I hugged and even chatted. Ellen was that type of White woman.

I feel Ellen’s response was a case of ingroup/outgroup recognition. I wasn’t apart of her ingroup, therefore I wasn’t worthy or remembering.

Not So Black and White: Memory for Ambiguous Group Members

Attention and Working Memory Biases to Black and Asian Faces During Intergroup Contexts

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