I have lived in Columbia and been at the university for almost 18 years. During this time, I have been called the n-word too many times to count. Yes, we are better off now than we were in the '50s, but to some extent, we are taking many steps backward by ignoring or not talking about the racial issues.
There is a prevalent stigma attached to needing public benefits to survive, even temporarily, but the stigma intensifies when the benefit seeker is a Black woman. We fight both our "strong Black woman" archetypes to admit that we need help, and then turn from that metamorphosis to battle against the "welfare queen" stereotype associated with anti-Blackness.