Only Black in office. Very Isolating

Ursie Bankhead, Buffalo, NY. I have a PhD, have studied race issues. And still struggle in my workplace. Mostly within my own department. I have support from several friends of various races/ethnicities/backgrounds, etc. But, it is difficult at times being “the only” and to experience microinvalidations during staff meetings or to end up in a […]

It begins and ends with me.

Benny Burnett-Smith Las Vegas, NV My first job was at a McDonald’s in Southeast Texas. It was a very racially mixed workforce and taught me so many things about race and respect. Working alongside others from different backgrounds than my own towards the common goal of serving food and doing a good job has served […]

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In my subconscious, he is white

Katherine Hannan Wears, Ogdensburg, NY. When I was a practicing attorney, I scheduled an appointment with an attorney who was a specialist in the field of construction litigation. The contact was made through an attorney I knew well. As I waited at the appointment, I didn’t consciously think, “What will he look like?” When he […]

Being called sassy is not complementary.

Starr, Albuquerque, NM. Black women are often characterized as sassy which I take as an insult. The root of sassy is sass or to balk, talk back; in order words, to disobey, or not know your place with the not-so-subtle inference that your place is inferior. I’ve been called sassy because I am smart and […]

Diversity Means Add A Few More

Ambika Howell Rochester, NY Funny how when you hear the word “diversity” being used to talk about how workplaces, etc., are attempting to appear to be DIVERSE, all you see is a few people of color on a cover page, or a poster, or on their website, surrounded by white people kind of in a […]

Watermelon on black colleague’s desk. 2012!

Anonymous Eugene, OR This was done as a practical joke. The most frequent question I have heard is not about why someone would do this, but how on earth someone could think this was funny. My generation is in their thirties, and living on the West Coast I have sometimes needed to explain the history […]