A Field Of Another Plantation

There is a power in being Black and woman. The duplicitous nature of being (literally) in two places at one time, at any given time. Which makes working in non-Black spaces this precarious thing.

For the last 2 years, I have been in a corporate setting. I have been told that my size, color, demeanor, silence, and ability to think outside the box…is all wrong. The world really doesn’t know what to do with a Black woman who is silent. At my current job, they use the following phrases:

“We’re a family…” No. No we aren’t.

“You can be transparent.” No. No we can’t. Black women don’t get to be ‘authentic’ as Black and woman in non-Black spaces. How can we? For a Black woman to be transparent in a non-Black space means that she has a target on her back. Yet, in this captialist hellscape, a chick gotta work, right? This isn’t new to Black women. We have always had to adapt, do, succeed.

So, we Code Switch. We change our hair. Wear the muted colors. Take off the nails. Turn on the Zoom/Teams camera when we would rather cry or call in. We do everything by the book to keep the direct deposit right. #IYKYK

We put on fake smiles, we get coffee breaks, and we are told that we ‘need to participate in company culture.’

I was told by my mother not too long ago when I told her the issues I had at work adjusting to that same ‘company culture’, she told me I ‘had been free too long.’ You know what, I wasn’t offended. Because it’s true–I am used to living my life not beholden to anyone that I didn’t want to be. Now, I am in a place (and age!) where stability is needed, growth necessary, and I have to play the game to get the check.

It is only with the support and love of my girls in group chats, frantic Facetimes, and tenacity powered by God that we get through these spaces isn’t it? It’s what we have always done. We support in order to survive. This is the power of us as a people–we keep deciding to go together.

Yet, this is what we do, isn’t it? We have to survive, and in that survival tell those who are coming how to burn it all down!


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