Black Employees…What Happens When We Are Not Ok?

Aleasa Word
4 min readJun 1, 2020
Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Recent concerns in light of the protests across America have cause concerned for everyone. In many cases what started out as peaceful protests have turned violent due to bad actors showing up. Already struggling businesses have been burned to the ground, vandalized or forced to shut their doors when they’ve barely had them open due to the pandemic surrounding COVID19. To put it nicely, many parts of the country are currently a hot mess at best and a powder keg waiting to explode even further at worst.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know these recent protests were sparked due to the videotaped death of a black man George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer who kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes. He died and one of the police officers involved was finally arrested for murder. 3 other officers involved have yet to be charged.

Stress from things like this impact people differently. Black people in America have long complained about treatment from the police. Studies have shown stark differences in the way black Americans are treated in both the healthcare and the criminal justice system even to the point of identifying key indicators of a school to prison pipeline. This kind of stress on a long term basis is bound to cause major issues for those in the black community who often go into the workplace and have to culturally “code switch” to make it through the day. Many people think because black people have been in America for so long that the culture they have is the same as others who have been in America. Newsflash…. there are levels to this thing! We each have different experiences and black people have been notoriously good at showing up to work and acting as though those pressures aren't’ weighing heavily on us because we know people won’t understand and we may be accused of pulling the race card.

The race card accusation is often thrown out when people simply aren’t comfortable having real conversations about racial disparities. People avoid it like the plague and when not heard, black people who need their jobs have learned to acquiesce and keep it moving the best way they can at work. But when someone is killed in our community and it reaches the level of publicity it has as in the Floyd case and so many others, it is like a loud bang reminding…

Aleasa Word

Trauma-informed #emotionalintelligence coach, diversity consultant & speaker writing about everything to help you live, love, and prosper in the best way!