It's time for another edition of the reading list. Hope this gives you some good stuff for your to be read pile.
First of all, Black LinkedIn is now a thing. People of all ethnicities have made the point that anti-racism is not a political issue, it's a human rights issue, and a professional issue. People invested in anti-racism have been speaking out, and the platform hasn't taken it well. If you want to catch up on how it's been going, check out this piece by Aaisha Joseph:
This is an in-depth article which showcases multiple examples of suppression of content by BIPOC and the failure to suppress trolls. And just in case, it's disappeared from LinkedIn by the time you read this (yes, that can happen), there's also a copy on Medium.
"I believe that while LinkedIn may have every intention of creating an anti-racist organization — there are powerful factors, whether it be people, corporations, or LinkedIn itself, that are wholly resistant to this idea."
Jessica Pharm also points out the suppression issue on LinkedIn and elsewhere, urges us not to lose hope, and points out specific actions companies can take to stop the rot.
"Realize We Are Human Beings - We aren’t just employees clocking in each day for a check, we have needs, wants, and stressors that extend beyond the workplace. Your Black employees are dealing with a lot, which only worsens without your support."
As many people have said recently, Black people are tired of waiting for a seat at the table. Sometimes we want our own table, and our own house. That's just what Janelle Benjamin has done by founding her own consultancy All Things Equitable. I've been following her on LinkedIn for a while, and recommend you do the same, if you aren't already. The quote below is from her launch post.
"employers have a hard time seeing how the bad behaviours of the people they employ, and often promote to leadership positions, are deeply rooted in the personal phobias and isms their staff have (homophobia, xenophobia, racism, sexism, abelism, etc.) and deeply rooted in the systems their policies and practices support (patriarchy, white supremacy, misogyny, etc.) These workplace behaviours lead to homogeneity, exclusion, workplace violence, oppression and injustice, time and time again."
This article by Faith Ann was written some months ago, but I thought the perspective of a white woman whose partner is a Black man was valuable.
"For him, it’s the same story…different characters. Shooting, choking, beating…they are all just different ways to murder, oppress, and terrorize."
Elayne Fluker raises some important points about the stress Black women go through, particularly because of the "strong Black woman" trope. In other words, Black women need support too.
"you tell her, "You got this!" to encourage her to keep going. But therein lies the problem: as Black women, we keep going and going and going... And that stress is beginning to catch up with us and have a dangerous impact on our physical health and mental well-being."
You know I love Marley K's writing, and this article is no exception. It's all about following up and containing the harm that racism does.
"The impact of racism can be literally life-altering. It can even lead to death, maiming, disfigurement, poverty, illiteracy, missed opportunities, and psychological issues in both victims and perpetrators."
Here's a bonus Marley K read that's worth your time: America Hates Equality.
Vena Moore tells the story of the pandemic within the pandemic, and explains why Black people are tired.
"Unlike white people, I don’t have the luxury to just fret about COVID. Just stepping outside my door can cause anxiety. I live in a gentrifying neighborhood. I have to be on guard for some white neighbor siccing the cops on me because to them, existing while Black is a crime. Then I have to worry that a cop will kill me simply for breathing."
I hate to give the orange one any air time, but Adrienne Samuels Gibbs does an excellent takedown of one of his recent statements. I'm not going to ruin it, but here's a taster:
"Being least racist is not an accolade; it’s an abomination. How can any part of racism and what it gives birth to be acceptable to a person who actually believes in justice?”
Well, that’s it for this edition. I look forward to your feedback on these articles.
Thanks for reading and supporting.
Until next time,
Sharon Hurley Hall