This book is a must-have for any black student planning to enter the workplace, or for any leader who values and plans to develop an employee team that is affirming and inclusive of black people and perspectives.
Working While Black: The Black Person's Guide To Success In The White Workplace is by Michelle T. Johnson, an employment attorney who utilizes professional and personal experiences, along with those of friends and colleagues, to highlight issues facing black people in the workplace -- isolation, concerns about fair treatment, spoken and unspoken rules of corporate America, good-ole-boys networks, etc...
The other day I was explaining to a co-worker that in addition to providing general parental guidance, that parents of black children often provide supplemental lessons and guidance about being black in a society that hasn't been always affirming or inclusive of black people. He was shocked, and thought it was an unfair burden on black families to have to teach their kids how to navigate ethnicity and bias in our society. I replied that it's called survival, and that it comes with the package of being black in the U.S.
My parents always talked with my sister and I about their workplace experiences, and what we should and shouldn't do in the work environment. A lot dealt with needing to work/be 100-times better just to be considered equal/on par. Another area dealt with keeping our personal business personal, and not sharing it with people who didn't get the context or had negative intentions about using information shared. I'm putting it/their words nicely here, :-)
Any advice you received or would share with young black professionals or students about to enter the workplace @ navigating the issue of inclusion and cultural identity?
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