All Articles Tagged "racial"
At the workplace, unbeknownst to their coworkers, many black women are holding down a second job editing themselves. Whether it’s passing up fried chicken for lunch or feigning ignorance when the conversation turns to Love & Hip Hop, we tend to feel the need to adjust our behavior for mixed company. It’s a practice dating back to W.E.B. Du Bois’ concept of “double consciousness,” a “sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others.” As an upwardly-mobile people, we take great care not to reinforce stereotypes others have of us. Maybe it’s time we let them see the real deal.
I’m guilty of feigning a disability or two for the cause. I’ve pretended I was deaf to spare my co-worker the horror her remark mistaking Kelly Rowland for a member of TLC. I’ve improvised a bout of dementia to forget my manager fingering my waist length braids and asking if they were my real hair (I had a bob the day before). The tales of black women on their best behavior are plentiful and, at times, comedic enough to fill a Web series on the topic.
We work hard to play against the stereotype of the “angry black woman,” but to what end? A recent study found that black women are expected to be pushier at work and receive higher approval ratings when they are assertive. This is in stark contrast to the results for white women and black men, who receive backlash when they exhibit aggressive behavior.
The nice girl act isn’t exactly what our employers and co-workers are looking for. So, should we all walk in the office doing our best Oprah does Ms. Sophia impression? Those can’t be the only options for success. It’s about time black women break the cardinal rule of being black in the workplace – be yourself.
If you clicked on this list not knowing what to expect, you’re right. It’s going to be all over the place. This story stemmed from a very haphazard conversation we had in my office one day. Consider this your warning. This list is going to be a very random compilation of some of the more outrageous things we’ve seen in the media in the two decades or so. Whether the examples are somehow racially stereotypical or just a celebrity behaving strangely, it’s liable to show up on this list. So are you ready, cuz I’m ready. Let’s jump in.
1. Scary Spice
It was good to be a girl in the ’90s. It was the age of girl power. And no one embodied the phrase like the Spice Girls did. They were everywhere. As a girl, if you didn’t like the Spice Girls you had to at least pretend. Being that there was only one black girl, when a group of our white friends would “play” Spice Girls, most black girls happily chose to be “Scary” or if there was more than one black girl, a slight argument about who was going to play Scary might ensue. (Usually we just switched off.) We all thought they were the ish until we got older. And when we got older and more wise to the ways of the world perhaps we took issue to the fact that the lone black girl, was named “scary.” Now all of the “girls” were attractive and had cutesy little names except the black girl. Unless they meant “scary” in the sense that she was “uncannily striking or surprising” then it’s a little suspect.
(Wall Street Journal) — Whites are on the verge of becoming a minority among newborn children in the U.S., marking a demographic shift that is already reshaping the nation’s politics and economy. The Census reported Thursday that nonwhite minorities accounted for 48.6% of the children born in the U.S. between July 2008 and July 2009, gaining ground from 46.8% two years earlier. The trajectory suggests that minority births will soon eclipse births of whites of European ancestry.
(bizjournals.com) — The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has dropped a lawsuit that accused Wells Fargo & Co. of steering African-American homeowners into subprime mortgages.
The NAACP sued Wells Fargo and more than a dozen other banks last year, saying the banks engaged in “systematic, institutionalized racism” when they steered homeowners of color into mortgages with higher interest rates than those of other borrowers who had similar credit histories.