On her own merit: Danya Raphael

Danya Raphael, a senior marketing professional, is one of several Milton residents of color who have agreed to share some of the twists and turns they have experienced regarding systemic racism.

(Photo by Elaine Cushman Carroll)

Early in her career in marketing, Danya Raphael learned that as a woman of African descent, she could expect to encounter racism in the corporate world.

The Milton resident said that in contrast, the town she has called home for about a dozen years has been accepting and welcoming.

As Black History Month begins, Raphael is one of several residents of color who have agreed to share some of the twists and turns they have experienced.

Sitting in the comfortable living room of her home on Truro Lane, Raphael recalled a job interview when she was younger in which the CEO of a company remarked about how articulate she was.

“At first, I took it as a compliment. Then when he mentioned it several more times, I thought, ‘Would you not expect me to be articulate? Did you think I was going to come in here street talking?’” she said.

Raphael, who is now a senior marketing manager for Atlantic Broadband, said, “I took offense but ended up taking the job because everyone else was overwhelmingly nice and it was a great opportunity.”

At another job, she was chosen over several internal candidates, who then gave her a hard time.

“At first, I thought it was just because they had applied, too, but then I figured out that they were asking, ‘How does she qualify?’ It was like saying that I didn’t deserve the role,” she recalled.

Raphael said that she worked hard for six to eight months to win them over.

“At my level, I feel that it’s understood that I deserve the position I have,” she said.

“Having dealt with it in the past, I have a lower tolerance for that level of ‘b.s.’ so I think I would nip it in the bud pretty quickly. I worked on those people for six to eight months. I would never do that today. They would quickly understand.”

Raphael said she picked Milton largely for the schools, sense of community, and stable home values.

She said she had lived in various neighborhoods in Milton before buying her current home, which was a fixer upper, in 2014.

“It’s a nice neighborhood with really nice neighbors. We all look out for each other,” Raphael said.

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