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A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

The Takeaway

Overwork is a vestige of slavery

A black woman working alone in a dark office
A black woman working alone in a dark office

Co-authored by David Stovall, PhD and Ebony Omotola McGee, PhD

We do it all the time. As Black academics and racial justice researchers, we work seven days a week and way too many hours in the day. The grind never seems to end. We love the work although it comes with fatigue (also known as racial battle fatigue). We want to see Black students and other Black people thrive without structural oppression. These are the reasons we tell ourselves to explain why we work so hard. And to an extent they are true.

What we rarely say, but know all…

The Takeaway

Working from home has an unintended benefit: White co-workers can’t get close enough to me to reach out and touch my tresses

My natural hairstyle changes frequently, and pre-pandemic, I wore it in a short, tight, coily wash-and-go style or, other times, in small twists or flat-ironed. The style that elicited the most attention was my Afro, which was larger than Angela Davis’ signature hairstyle.

I was accustomed to inquiries about my ’do from White colleagues but hoped that in some way, conversations surrounding hair, Black beauty, and, at the very least, professionalism would have connected some dots for them. However, working in predominantly White spaces in all but one job taught me that the aforementioned does not resonate with many White…

Navigating aftershocks is tricky at non-diverse companies

“No matter the reason, it’s tough to see colleagues leave for greener pastures, especially the ones who are part of your daily routine. Even teammates you think of as acquaintances…

Black Thoughts

When it comes to Black employees, we already know the challenges

A new study by Walmart finds that, unsurprisingly, it will take almost a century for Black workers to be equally represented in the private sector.

The study, also cosigned by McKinsey & Company, more specifically states that it would take 95 years for Black employees to reach “talent parity.” In plain English, this means that because Black workers account for 12% of the 125 million U.S. private-sector workers, it would take nearly 100 more years for Black people to represent 12% of those jobs at all levels — from entry-level up to the C-suite.

The report, called “Race in the…

My interviews these days have a few more curveballs

“For the first time in more than a year, I’ve been playing the field for a heat check on my market value and other opportunities. I’ve noticed that things are…

Talking smack at work is nothing new, but here’s how to handle it

“Discussing discrimination directed toward us in the workforce is almost like beating a never-ending drum that few folks actually hear. Essence magazine recently conducted a survey that revealed 45% of Black women say they experience racism in their place of employment most often compared to all other areas of their lives. Discrimination at our jobs can include being overlooked for promotions in favor of our less experienced White or non-Black co-workers, not being seen as credible as our White colleagues, being told we’re not social enough, being micromanaged, and microaggressions such as being cut off or talked over in staff…

An open letter from your Black diversity consultant

First, I usually hear it in your voice. Then, I see it in your body language: the SHIFT.

We’re on a call to discuss your newfound interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion work as an organization and as a leader. The second I shift from the word inclusion to the terms anti-racism, there is a visible shift in your demeanor. And maybe you don’t notice it, but I do because it happens so much that I’m prepared to expect it.

You didn’t reach out to me because you want to talk about race — you don’t want to unpack White…

When you give advice to a Black person from a place of white privilege, don’t expect us to say thank you

I am an anti-racism writer. I share my experiences so that people understand that racism is real; it is not the collective hallucination of Black people the world over.

I write from a place of pain and trauma. It hurts to relive my experiences, but I feel the need to share them with the universe to generate empathy, compassion, and hopefully change.

Often — White people mainly — get aggressive and defensive about what I write. It manifests itself by outright insults, gaslighting, and bullying. Others look down from their pedestal of white privilege and give me advice that could…

Can my co-workers tell I’m struggling with impostor syndrome?

“I’ve just gotta remember that I’m in this position for a reason, and everything in my career up until this point is more than enough validation. I’ve learned to use…

A top Black A.I. researcher speaks about her experience after being pushed out of Google

In the early days of December, one of the world’s most well-known Black A.I. researchers, Timnit Gebru, made national headlines when she was ousted from Google, where she studied the limitations of artificial intelligence.

Her dismissal stemmed from an email she sent to internal groups for women and allies that expressed frustration at the lack of action taken by the company. She was also working on a research paper critical of the company’s tactics for developing massive algorithms, specifically how they can affect already marginalized communities.

Listen to Gebru tell her story in her own words on Slate’s What Next…

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