Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Haley Reading (Group B) -- American Spy, Chapters 6 - 9


[Haley Reading groups Fall 2020]

By Boluwatife O. Ojewande

In chapters Six through Nine of American Spy, Marie tells more about her background. She recalls the offer she received to carry out an assignment that will boost her profile in the FBI. Marie turns down Ross’s assignment to go undercover while she finds out more information about president Sankara of Burkina Faso, who American Intelligence intend to bring down.

“I couldn’t let Ross use me. When Mr. Ali had let the bureau use him, it trapped him professionally. It’s only a fool who doesn’t learn from the experience of others” (88). 

Marie’s refusal on this assignment is quite interesting and at the same time surprising. This is because as much as Marie always wanted to get a higher profile at her job, she is still conscious of being ‘professionally trapped.’

In that situation or any other from the reading, what were you most interested in concerning the professional challenges that Marie faced?  

51 comments:

Kaelyn Cupil said...

I was most interested in her drive concerning her professional uphill climb. Marie is really focused on "getting it on her own" and not taking handouts, no matter how much the handout may elevate her; which is definitely admirable. I feel as if she's putting a target on her back though by being so determined to not be a sell out or be "trapped", later in the book this may lead to trifling a key relationship or looking too closely at something that could potentially help her. I really do like that she is so headstrong though, it always leaves me guessing what she'll do next.

K.C.

Anonymous said...

I was most interested in concerning the professional challenges that Maria faced is where she is currently in her profession and where she is going. In the most recent reading, Maria has gone from going through evidence that was seized and paperwork. Now she is being asked to get intel on Sankara to see how much he knows about the CIA work in his country.

-Aleeya B.

Alleson H. said...

The thing that interested me the most was talked about very briefly but definitely caught my attention. It’s how Helene first become so obsessed with spies at age 13. Not only did she fill herself with knowledge pertaining to spies but also taught herself key traits about things spies should be able to do. For example when she said how she was only friends with Rhonda to be able to turn on her. This is very interesting to me makes me wonder what else will Helene do pertaining to teaching herself how to be a spy.

Linda H. said...

Professionally Marie is stuck between two things that could stunt her career further. If she takes the job she could get stuck in the same way her predecessor did. If she doesn't take the job she could be seen as difficult to work with by others which could also slow her career progress. However, I believe she will make the decision to see some action rather than doing the same thing as always.

-Linda H.

LaTrina Brown said...

I was more so interested in the fact that she refused to take the job more than anything. As a black woman in her time period, it seems that she would have jumped towards the opportunity which surprises me. It does show that she has integrity and strong beliefs when it comes to her profession.

Cheyenne Carpenter said...

I was more interested in her line of work and how that pertained to her morals and what she believed in. I was shocked when she turned down the job offer, but I understood why she did it in the end. No matter how bad she wanted the job, she still turned it down because she saw what it did to Mr. Ali and she learned from his mistakes.

Nijay N Spellman said...

I was most interested in Marie's determination when it came to her professional challenges. Marie's status as being an African American woman who is in the FBI means that she will face more problems than the rest of her peers and not be granted as many opportunities, so when she turned down an opportunity that was handed to her by Ross I was surprised and also thought she was brave. I was shocked because she already knows her situation so why would you not take the easy way out, but then again I understood and thought she was brave. Marie's proving to everyone that she is a strong individual who does not need any hand outs or a demeaning job so she can be seen as one of them.

Nijay Spellman

Arielle Stallworth said...

Chapters 6-9 were very interesting all together but the most interesting part to me was her turning down the assignment. Knowing how determined she is to move forward and how she has been interested in being a spy since she was younger it just seemed as if she would jump on an opportunity like this. Seeing that she didn't lets me know that the two of us are even more alike than I had originally thought.
Being a WOMAN of COLOR in a WHITE MAN'S field is a rough spot so turning down such a big assignment is not usually what one would have thought she would have done but she knew not to just jump on it at first sight because of the outcomes of those before her. I myself plan to go into FBI, CIA, and or CSI work and I know I will be met with many of the challenges we will see Marie to come to.

Brooke Harris said...

I was very surprised at this section as I took it as "My way or the highway" regarding what she wanted from a profession. This mentality isn't very common regarding jobs especially since now most people worry about how much it pays versus respecting their own interests/beliefs or how others might see it as being "difficult". I think it was definitely something cool as I know I wouldn't have done it even if I saw how it affected someone else, I would have just taken what I could get.
- Brooke Harris

Evan Senat said...

Many times over the course of the story, Marie has had to acknowledge the fact that she is quite limited professionally because of her profile: being a woman and being black. I think that it is somewhat ironic and almost cruel of her superiors to now ask her to participate in a high profile case solely because of the fact that she is a woman of color. I appreciate that she can stand up for herself in such an uncomfortable position and refuse to participate. More than that, I am very interested in the fact that she later agrees, only within her own terms. It sounds like she is going to use her superiors just like they intend to use her and I am excited to see what the outcome will be.

Kayla Person said...

I was most interested in the fact that Marie turned down the job. I thought it would have been a good opportunity for her and she would do good. I do understand her choice in the matter though.

-Kayla P.

Vanessa H. said...

Though this story I find it very interesting how dedicated Marie is to her work. She talks about previously not having time for a husband because of her work. So for her then to turn down a job opportunity at first confused me. Marie has proven herself to be well thought out, so I feel she must have reasonable doubt to pass this opportunity up. I only hope it doesn't cause more challenges for her down the road. She is a very brave woman who is facing many adversities in her time, she doesn't plan on taking any short cuts to her dream career.

Vanessa Hovey

Anonymous said...

The most interesting thing concerning the professional challenges that Marie faced is just her ambition to be better in her professional field. I was not surprised that she didn’t take the job due to the fact of how it affected Mr. Ali. She is a very head strong, independent women and I am looking forward to reading more of this book.

Danielle Hawthorne

Alayna McCoy said...

I think it was admirable that Marie didn't just jump at any opportunity given to her by Gold or Ross. I think a lot of black women in her position at that time in history would've been happy with getting offered anything. The fact Marie refuses to give into their petty offers and instead sort of pushes them to treat her the way she deserves is incredible. I think the reader can learn a lot about knowing one's worth from Marie.

- Alayna M

Samantha A. said...

I am most interested in Marie's perseverance to prove her self in a male-dominant profession. She is determine to overcome the sexism in her profession as most of her missions are to seduce a man to gain information. She was underestimated for being black and a woman, but she is set on not being manipulated and used for sexist missions. I am intrigued to see how Marie will continue to show her strength.

Samantha A.

Unknown said...

I was more focused on as to looking into why she wouldn’t take the assignment and what did she mean towards him saying “ it’s only a “ fool “ who doesn’t learn from the next person. I thought about that all for a minute and she’s simply saying why put your self in a predicament to get messed over when you’ve seen this same person going through this exact same mess that you’re about to get put in if you go along with. Also referring back to her wanting a higher position from my point she felt nothing is worth jumping into if you aren’t going to be fully comfortable there at the stop.

-Courteona C

Alexis S. said...

I was most interested in Marie's personality and how she presented herself. Marie is very tough and determined to perform well. Marie has faced many challenges within her field as she is an African American woman amongst a job that has a big male presence. Due to her ethnicity and gender, she was overlooked and looked down upon and had to complete task that she was over qualified to do such as filling out paperwork and conducting interviews. Marie is very determined to get to the top so I also was shocked when she turned down the job offer. After reading these last couple of chapters I understand as Marie likes to stick to her own beliefs and decisions and she knows what's best for her.

- Alexis S.

Jacqueline Smith said...

I'm most interested in Marie's intelligence and intuition as it pertains to her career. She knows her challenges of being a black woman in a "white man's world." She works twice as hard but understands that she has to be discreet in order to not be seen as a threat. In the story she mentions that being underestimated benefits her in many ways. I was happy to see that she was smart enough to learn from Mr. Ali's mistakes and turned Mr. Ross' job offer despite the money and career advancement she could gain from it. She would not agree to anything blindly. Agreeing to the take the job only came once she had more information and was confident she could get the intel in a different manner than what was suggested.

Jacqueline Smith

Nia M. said...

While reading chapters 6-9, I was most interested in the fact that Marie stood by what she believed in. With all the difficulties she faced or might have faced she still stood by her principles and wouldn't take anything less. This was seen when she didn't take the job although she was so dedicated to her work, she wouldn't compromise her moral standards.

Nia Marshall

Unknown said...

It was surprising for Marie to turn down the job, but at the same time it was not. When she had the conversation with Mr. Ali she expressed how much of a "sell out" she felt Mr Ali was, especially because it did not really get him far. She assumed that if Mr. Ali was the agent to give the where abouts of Fred Hampton for police to ambush him, then he would do so. She did not want that same story for herself. She was very aware of her identity as a black woman and how she was being used. I think it took much mental strength, but necessary

Teighlor Traywick

Jaydyn Z. said...

From reading chapters six through nine, I am most interested in how headstrong Marie is. Personally, I admire her for turning down the assignment. While this opportunity could have provided her with a boost in the agency, she stuck by her morals and refused to compromise her beliefs. I also admire her for her perseverance as being a black woman in a predominately white, male field. She knew that her role was to seduce a man, and she refused because it was sexist. I am very intrigued to see what Marie will do in the future of the novel.
Jaydyn Zykan

Ehriana . C said...

I was most interested in the fact that Marie turned down the assignment knowing how bad she wanted to advance in her position. I feel like her witnessing what others likes Mr. Ali went through has shaped her into the person she is today. Marie is dedicated but she's not willing to go against her morals and values in order to get ahead.

Damaiya L said...

I think it was a very smart decision for Marie to turn down the job at first. As we’ve all read, we can tell she’s very determined to be the best she could be. Marie turning down the job was very shocking to me & definitely the most interesting part, but as i read on, i understood why. I can tell Marie is stronger than everyone thinks, she put her knowledge to use when she mentioned Mr. Ali’s run in, not jumping at an opportunity so quickly.

Damaiya L

Damaiya L said...

I think it was a very smart decision for Marie to turn down the job at first. As we’ve all read, we can tell she’s very determined to be the best she could be. Marie turning down the job was very shocking to me & definitely the most interesting part, but as i read on, i understood why. I can tell Marie is stronger than everyone thinks, she put her knowledge to use when she mentioned Mr. Ali’s run in, not jumping at an opportunity so quickly.

Damaiya L

Mackenzie Cohoon said...

What surprised me the most was how conscious marie was of what was going on around her. She had a very good balance between passion and drive for her job, and conscious awareness of the faults and wrongdoings of her job.

Kenisha Townsend said...

I found it quite surprising when she turned down the assignment, because for one she's a black woman in a white male dominated field and she wanted to elevate in her field. However, I respected her decision, because she ultimately knows what is best for her. Her determination, boldness, and ambition is inspiring.

Kenisha T.

Samontriona P. said...

I am most interested in the fact that she was able to make the hard decision of turning down a job in a field she had dreamed about since she was a child. She managed to stick to what she believed in, and not jump at the first big opportunity that came her way. I salute her for turning down the job especially being a black woman in that time period. That ttook a lot of courage but also shows that she knows her worth. I am looking forward to see what all she has in store.

Kelsey McNeil said...

The thing that stood out to me the most was in chapter 6 when Marie is talking about the goodbye kiss on the cheek Mr. Ali gave her. She said that since he did that, people would start to assume that she only got to where she is by knowing/being with him even thought their relationship is not like that. That stood out to me because I think that people always assume that women can't get somewhere without men. When the truth really is that women can be successful and do everything without the help of anyone. I think that was a good point the author made because it ties into the world today and it is still something that women have to deal with.

Kelsey McNeil

Alliyah M. said...

Throughout reading the chapters, the one thing that I found interesting in the professional challenges she faced was how dedicated she was in never breaking her moral compass, even if it costs her certain job opportunities. Many people in Marie's position would have probably taken Ross' job offer and wouldn't of cared what Ross' intentions were or the consequences of taking a job from Ross. Marie ,however, had more respect for herself where she didn't want to be used and possibly stalemate her career just for the slight chance of boosting her career.

I'Lysa Walker said...

While a protagonist standing by his or her morals and putting at risk their own economic growth, even if there were potentially welcoming difficulties, is not anything I am not familiar with;however,it never fails to impress. It is very uplifting to me, as a black woman, to see Marie stand for her principles and not compromise herself.

I'Lysa Walker said...

While a protagonist standing by his or her morals and putting at risk their own economic growth, even if there were potentially welcoming difficulties, is not anything I am not familiar with;however,it never fails to impress. It is very uplifting to me, as a black woman, to see Marie stand for her principles and not compromise herself.

Alexis H. said...

Alexis H.
It didn’t alarm me that Marie is morally conscious while at work. She fired her informant because she knew the information she was paying them for was not illegal parties. What did alarm was that she took the offer to go to dinner. In chapter 6 she kept talking about not wanting to get into the same work that Mr. Ali got himself into and she still took the dinner offer.

Unknown said...

I was the most interested in Marie's strong moral code. Despite having a passion for her profession, she stood by her principles. According to the person-organization fit, an important factor in job satisfaction is an employee's fit within the culture.

Madalynn M.

Anonymous said...

I was most interested in the challenges she faced as black woman. She noticed that her first opportunity to move up in the ranks was because she is a woman. Not what she could bring to the table for the fact that she is woman, a human being with throughout of her own. But because of what she can achieve as a woman because of her body.
-Jayla Pierce

Anonymous said...

I found it surprising that she turned down the job, however it says a lot about Marie's morals. Sometimes it is easy to just go with the flow and ignore what you think is right especially when there is a lot at stake. In this case, Marie's economic status was at stake and the fact that the job was even available to her, considering racial and gender bias in jobs.
Fatima Bashir

Anonymous said...

The most interesting part of the chapter was the fact that Marie turned down the high-profile assignment. Instead of risking herself just to obtain a higher social status, she decided to follow her intuition and turn it down. Her actions made me respect her character even more than I already did.

Chaianna Curry

Adejoke Adanri said...

What i found the most interesting in these chapters was the way that Helene went from wanting to be a spy to wanting to be in charge of spies and taking initiative to do that. I thought the amount of training and practice she made herself go through was admirable on page 77 she says “Spies should be able to get close to people and then turn on them... you should never ask someone to do something you can’t”

Adejoke Adanri

Nyla W. said...

The fact that Ross implied she would have to sleep with Sankara to get the information would be insulting to any respectable woman. “We all have to make concessions to serve the greater good” is what he repeated back to her. Marie believes she has found a loophole in the assignment and I’m curious to see how she’s going to manipulate Sankara.

I understand why she turned down the assignment because it feels like she’s being used. Gold wouldn’t put her on important assignments so I can see how she would feel like the bottom of the barrel or last option. It definitely could’ve been a great opportunity to boost her career but she knows her worth and turned it down despite the benefits.

Keaira C. said...

Reading chapters 6-9, there were actually many occurrences, moments, and instances in this chapter when we learned more about Marie, like initially in the chapter, we learned her full name. But the main thing that was interesting to me was that within this time period, in the 1900s, Marie had this career opportunity presented to her that was what she claims to be the operation that she had been waiting for, and would put her far ahead in her career, yet she turned it down because she basically felt that she was being used as a token, and her identity was being treated as a way to bait in Thomas. I completely understand the evaluation of making this decision and deciding between career advancement or individual morality/tolerance. As a Black woman in this time period, she felt she had to protect and defend her identity and value, and she knew that she was worthy and capable of more than just being used to draw someone in due to her physical and biological attributes.

Raillane Kamdem said...

I was most interested in Marie’s decision to turn down the job, even though she had such a drive to push forward professionally. I understand her reasoning behind it though seeing as she does not want to be stuck or feel like she’s getting any handouts, but wants things on her own merits. Something every person of color can understand.

gabby said...

I was the most interested in the various trials and tribulations that Marie faced as a Black Woman. I found it very powerful when Marie turned down a job that she had dreamed about her whole life. I can see why Marie did this as a strong and independent woman she does not want to feel as if she is getting handouts or getting opportunities because of her own race. She wants to earn things on her own. While I do understand this, I feel like for me this would be a very difficult thing to do.

gabby said...

I was the most interested in the various trials and tribulations that Marie faced as a Black Woman. I found it very powerful when Marie turned down a job that she had dreamed about her whole life. I can see why Marie did this as a strong and independent woman she does not want to feel as if she is getting handouts or getting opportunities because of her own race. She wants to earn things on her own. While I do understand this, I feel like for me this would be a very difficult thing to do.

Gabrielle Wimes

Daeja J Daniels said...

From this section the thing that I find the most interesting is the fact that Marie is very determined. She is working in a field that is dominated by men. I understand this feeling completely being an engineering major. She is very perseverant and very strong.

Elizabeth kyande said...

Turning down the job opportunity from Ross definitely caught my eye. It proves that she has set her own standards and lives by them. She is definitely the type of person who analyses situation before coming into conclusion. Being a black woman at that kind of era takes a lot of gust, strength as well bravery to down an offer like that.

Elizabeth Kyande

Cynthia Martin said...

I found it most interesting how head strong and passionate Marie is. To turn down a job advancement must’ve been hard for her. As a black woman, this would be a big opportunity and would pay more money but instead Marie stuck to her values and protected herself from being used.

Unknown said...

Her independence and her drive most interested me concerning the professional challenges Marie faced. Through out all the unprofessionalism and blatant sexism from her coworkers, she was still determined to do what she needed to get further in her career. What has been more impressive to me is that she’s doing all by herself without handouts.

-Carah F.

R. Ginger said...

I was most interested in her turning down the assignment because she never got actually undercover assignments. I like how she got Ross to tell her everything he was trying to hide about the assignment. Also, I enjoyed how she always found a way to get an advantage and she made her payment for agreeing to the assignment getting information about her sister instead of money. - R. Ginger

Anonymous said...

I was interested in the fact that she turned down the job. Because she is a black woman in a government job, big opportunities probably rarely go her way. Also since she turned down the job this probably makes her seem hard to work with and she may not receive anymore opportunities like this in the future. She is probably going to have to work harder to get more undercover assignments later on.
-Deja L. 10/13/20

geonel m said...

These chapters emerged Marie's moral and strong work ethic. She is first a woman, then a woman of colors. Being a woman in a professional setting is already hard enough, adding to that being black made her job more difficult that average people. The fact that she turned the job down speaks volume about her. Today, we live in a society where people would do anything to reach their goals. Even if that requires for them to set aside their moral, ethic, and value.

-Geonel M.

Anonymous said...

I am interested in learning how this will affect her career as an African American woman in the FBI. I haven’t made it to the point where she apparently accepts the job and wonder why she decided to do it.

Breann Walton 10/16/20

Anonymous said...

I was most interested in Marie’s initial refusal of Ross’s assignment. Mostly because it seems like a decision I would make, with similar reasoning. I’ll know that something is a good idea, but still find some way to talk myself out of it. Even if there’s a dozen pros and one con; If the con is consequential enough, then I’ll abandon the idea. I was also in disbelief that Ross would actually want Marie to sleep with Sankara to get intel. That seems very low and I feel as though Ross knows Marie deserves much more respect than that. It is very clear that Marie experiences her share plus more of sexism in the workplace.

Breanna Jackson 10/21/20