Maybe you’ve heard these statements at work:
“You oversold yourself during the interview.”
"You’re not meeting expectations.”
“You go by that name at work?”
“You don’t know your place.”
Or my favorite: “You seem angry.”
I have heard them all, repeatedly. And for years I thought I was alone.
Three years ago, I got a wakeup call.
As my stress mounted, I developed migraines, a skin rash, and gained weight. I knew that stress causes autoimmune diseases in many Black women, a fate I began to fear. I tried everything: working harder, towing the political line, changing my name. Nothing worked.
But along the way, I began to find strength in discovering that the other Black women in my life were weathering the same challenges at work. And I vowed I would do everything I could to prepare the girls who are coming behind us.
In 2014, I started gathering examples of how structural racism and sexism play out in the workplace. I realized that by studying how Black women have survived in this post-affirmative action era, we can empower the next generation to thrive.
BlackFemaleProject was born.