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Racism Has My Nerves Bad

Racism Has My Nerves Bad

Sooooo … it’s been a few days since the Meghan Markle interview. Did you watch? Here’s a recap if you missed it.

Truth be told, I recorded it but did not watch it until Monday night. Because I knew I needed to breathe before I engaged … and I knew Twitter would give me the highlights.

I saw several tweets about not only the show but also the barrage of microaggressive actions targeting Markle. I saw the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork which was accompanied by stories upon stories of the shared experience of being profiled for, as Markle said, “Just because I was breathing.”

I was interviewed a few years ago for this article about the same topic: The oppressive experiences that Black women face, especially in the workplace.

Women will face sexism. Women of color will face racism and sexism. However, #BlackLivesMatter signals the traumatic and centuries-long oppression that Black people are still navigating and resisting in 2021.

This is not to say that no one else’s life matters but it should be apparent that the fears that Black people have ‒ whether they are taking a run or walking home or sleeping in their bed ‒ are solely based on being African American. When it comes to Black women, there’s a word for it: Misogynoir.

And this is why I do what I do.

  • Intersectional feminist scholarship + communication-based coping mechanisms of Black women in leadership is my chosen direction in my research. Here is an example of why this type of research matters.
  • I advocate for inclusion and respect in the workplace. I told a former boss that I would quit my job on the spot if one of my direct reports quit due to racial profiling from senior leaders. And I meant it.
  • Another former boss made disparaging comments against Asian Americans and I called her out for it.

I watched the interview and I am glad I did. Markle’s resilience is admirable and very necessary. The triggers won’t necessarily just disappear for me; trauma usually doesn’t have an end date.

Nevertheless, I will always use my own voice to advocate for myself and others.

People might expect mediocrity because of your race and/or gender. Remember that you are MAGIC.

Be well, and take care.

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