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*Special Feature* Cori J. Williams presents…

Thriving While Black: The Act of Surviving and Thriving in the Same Space

Synopsis

 Thriving While Black sets out to explore the psychological and emotional consequences of being Black in America as well as in the workplace. The playing field for Whites and Blacks are not equal in both corporate and social strata. Blacks are discriminated against and excluded based on their skin color, which creates the question of what their place is in America.

Black workers in corporate America have to grapple with racial microaggressions in the workplace, which often involves White workers assuming that their Black counterparts are intellectually inferior to them; a phenomenon that is an obstacle to the upward mobility of Blacks in different organizations.

This book portrays that Blacks are Americans too and should not have to be seen as less and unequal. Since America prides itself in diversity, America should be able to bring diverse people together and allow their diversity to thrive rather than force them to adopt mainstream White culture and mannerisms. This is the focus of this book, and this should be the focus of America.

Excerpt from Book

A random Google search on “professional hairstyle” would bring well curated images of white women with long straight or wavy hair. Another search on “unprofessional hairstyle” would bring images of Black women wearing their natural hairstyles. This occurrence threw the internet into a pandemonium with lots of women sharing their stories of racial discrimination based on hairstyles in the corporate world.

To an outsider, and by outsider, I am referring to non-Black people or individuals who have not had phenomenological experiences of racial discrimination based on hairstyles, the pandemonium that  occurred might seem like an overreaction. “Is not there meant to be a standard for appearance in the corporate environment?” they might ask. “You cannot wear whatever you want to wear to an office,” some might add. But the uproar about racial discrimination based on hairstyle is not merely a matter of preference or choice, but instead, is a systemic problem that targets only a fraction of individuals.

The policy against certain hairstyles might to some individuals apply equally to every individual, but when these hairstyles are worn primarily by a certain group of individuals, then the ban is targeted. If a ban against straight hair is implemented in corporate America, the race that would primarily be affected will be those with naturally occurring straight hair. This is the case with discrimination against the Afro, dreadlocks, braids, and cornrows.

In 2010, Chastity Jones was offered a job as a customer service representative in a catastrophe management firm. Her job was to interface with clients who had complaints. The firm, however, was worried about her dreadlocks and requested that she cut her locks. Jones refused and lost the job offer. Jones, who felt cheated and discriminated against, decided to file a suit against the firm. However, she  lost the suit. Black people have for decades faced different forms of discrimination based on their skin color. From a young age, a Black child is made to feel different based on their skin color. Male and female people of color deal with stereotypes and are forced daily to prove their humanity. Black females are faced with a different form of discrimination based on their choice to wear their hairstyles naturally. A Black woman is faced with multiple oppressions. A Black woman is discriminated against for being Black and for being a woman. The experiences of multiple interacting oppressions differ from being oppressed for being Black and for being a woman. This form of oppression is not an aggregate form of oppression but instead an interacting and overlapping form of oppression that differs distinctly from being Black and for being a woman. Some organizations pride themselves in being diverse, owing to their employment of Black and female staff. However, the majority of employed Black staff are males, and most of the employed female staff are white. This form of oppression is tagged as intersectionality and was put forward by Professor Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to explain the oppression faced by Black women. Corporate America boasts of a smaller number of Black female executives, and for the few Black female executives, discrimination based on hairstyles is prevalent.

About the Author

The author Cori Williams MSW L.C.S.W is a graduate from [] Boston University located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts. A multifaceted entrepreneur, Cori is the owner of Wilmore Marketing Consultants LLC., a marketing firm. In his latest endeavor as an Executive Life Coach, he is the founder of Quintessential Wellness Solutions LLC., a Family Therapy & Executive Life Coaching Practice and Co-Owner of B&M Enterprises which is a real estate investors company.

Before his entrepreneurial success, Williams worked in the nonprofit industry for 12 years holding various leadership roles. In his career years, he assisted with establishing GED curriculum workshops for adult learners and facilitated numerous workshops for first-time fathers who struggle with maintaining consistency in the lives of their children and face social and emotional barriers which has prevented them from consistently engaging in the lives of their children in the urban communities. 

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