- Sharon's Anti-Racism Newsletter
- Meet Anti-Racism Activist and Writer Jacquie Abram
Meet Anti-Racism Activist and Writer Jacquie Abram
And learn about her commitment to fighting covert racism in the workplace
Hello friends, it is a real delight to feature my sister in anti-racism, Jacquie Abram, today. We’ve been connected on LinkedIn for nearly four years, and I truly value her perspective. I’ve also have enjoyed seeing her impact grow after the publication of her bestseller Hush Money. Please meet Jacquie…
Jacquie, what made you become an anti-racism activist and writer?
After my six-figure career in higher education was derailed by racist and toxic leaders, and I found myself so psychologically damaged that I wanted to commit homicide and suicide, I pulled myself out of corporate America to save my sanity and self-published HUSH MONEY: HOW ONE WOMAN PROVED SYSTEMIC RACISM IN HER WORKPLACE & KEPT HER JOB with my daughters, Deborah and Delilah Harris. Because we weren't professional writers or marketers and had no clue what to do with the book after it was published, I piled the books into the trunk of my car and sold them at parks and pop-up shops to anyone in Colorado Springs who was willing to listen to me. Seven months after the official launch of Hush Money, it became an international best-selling and award-winning book that was being read in countries around the world.
What anti-racist cause are you most passionate about, and why?
Fighting racism in the workplace because I know the devastation that toxic jobs have on our lives and careers. After working 20 years in higher ed myself & enduring the vilest forms of racial discrimination imaginable, not only was I stripped of my dignity, confidence, & strength, but I was also homeless & too tired to continue fighting. So, I went to Salt Creek Beach, made a video to commemorate the occasion, & returned the next day to commit suicide by drowning which seemed like a good idea because I didn't know how to swim (I still don't).
Thankfully, I'm still alive, but there are so many who aren't so lucky and it's heart-breaking, truly heart-breaking.
What form does your activism take?
Through my masterclass titled 'HOW TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATION IN A TOXIC WORKPLACE’, I teach Black employees in toxic jobs how to fight racial discrimination because what's happening to them is not unconscious it's unconscionable. And through my books HUSH MONEY: HOW ONE WOMAN PROVED SYSTEMIC RACISM IN HER WORKPLACE & KEPT HER JOB and the sequel HUSH MONEY: THE COST OF BEING BLACK IN CORPORATE AMERICA, I give Black employees the strategy I used to repeatedly take down more than a half a dozen toxic organizations and never walk away from a single job empty-handed.
What response have you had to your activism or writing?
The responses I continue to receive to my Hush Money books has been amazing. As a result, Hush Money is now:
✔️an International Best-Selling & Award-Winning book Featured in Forbes
✔️#1 Best Seller in Black & African American Christian Fiction (Amazon)
✔️ 5-STAR rating with over 446 reviews (Amazon)
✔️#1 in Best Eye-Opening African American Women's Fiction (Goodreads)
✔️#1 in Books to Build Up Your Social Justice Literacy: Racism (Goodreads)
✔️#1 in Black Female Protagonists (Goodreads)
✔️#1 in Contemporary Women’s Fiction (Goodreads)
✔️#1 in Mixed Race Representation (Goodreads)
✔️#1 in Strong & Inspiring Heroines/Female Protagonists (Goodreads)
✔️#1 Fresh Speakers (Goodreads)
✔️Gold Medal Recipient for Social Issues Novels (Readers’ Favorite)
The response to my virtual masterclass has been equally as amazing. The first cohort was sold out. Over a 5-day period, one-hour per day, Black employees learn the skills and strategy to fight back against covert racism in the workplace, a sinister type of racial discrimination that is hidden, harder to prove, and highly effective at derailed careers.
In terms of anti-racism content, which are your top three articles or social media posts?
I selected this one because it shows that you can accomplish anything if you believe. I went from eating dog food as a child to writing international best-selling & award-winning books as an adult.
I selected this one because I don't want anyone to consider suicide as an option for escaping a toxic workplace.
I selected this one because everyone needs to know that there is a cost to being Black in corporate America.
I selected this one because it highlights the growing trend of racists stating that MLK never discussed race.
In relation to racism, what is your vision for the future?
To continue amplifying the experiences and stories of Black women and men as people in political arenas continue their attempts to rewrite history and silence Black voices.
Is there anything I haven't asked you that you'd like to add?
I was born and raised in poverty by the most amazing single mom a girl could ask for and she had this amazing ability of turning nothing into something. One of my favorite memories with mom was doing something she called trash surfing. We lived in a house that was infested with roaches and had no carpeting, only a cement floor. So, every day after mom got off work, we went surfing in the trash bins behind carpet stores to find scraps of carpet, didn't matter what color, shape, or size. Whatever scraps we found we took home and sewed them together. Eventually, we had sewn enough carpet scraps together to cover the entire living room floor and we were so proud of our accomplishment! Dolly Parton said she had a coat of many colors, and we had a carpet of many colors, too.
And even though we lived in a house infested with roaches, I ate dog biscuits from the neighbor when we were short on food, and I wore shoes that were two sizes to small, as a child I always believed in the American Dream, the concept that if you worked hard enough, you could be successfully no matter who you were or how poor you were. I believed in the American Dream so much that I wore the only red, white, and blue outfit that I had well past the point that it was tattered and torn as a reminder that I had the power to pull my family out of poverty if I worked hard enough. And it was this belief that fueled my passion to work extra hard.
When I became an adult, my hard work paid off and I earned my way into a lucrative career in higher education and was certain that I had achieved the American Dream. I had a house with carpet that was all the same color, shoes that fit, clothes that weren't torn, and best of all I had cookies. Real cookies! No more dog biscuits for this girl.
I learned about the American Dream throughout my secondary school years, but as an adult I discovered that there was a part of the American Dream that no one ever told me about. You see, as I was climbing that ladder of success based on my skills and my abilities, someone in the organization noticed me. And the person who noticed me wasn't there when I was hired, but they were there now due to a change in leadership and not only was this person in a higher position than mine, but he was also a racist. Before I knew it, that rug was pulled from under me and me and that ladder of success that I was climbing up on, we came crashing down.
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Note: I’ve used Amazon affiliate links for Jacquie’s book so I may get a small commission if you use them for a purchase.
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