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Honoring Black History Month: A Look at Being Black in the Workplace

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WPUNJ chapter.

When I was an undergraduate, I encountered many conversations with my peers about Black history, and not just during the national holiday, but all year around as certain topics about race would arise. These insightful discussions were with individuals from various backgrounds, and to find out that most of them were clueless about the history of Black Americans did not surprise me at all. Life during college should, and I would hope, broaden your horizons to be opened to learning new things, as you are around a more diverse group of people ranging from different cultures and backgrounds. And as we come to the end of February, the shortest month of the year, word has spread even further that the teachings of the “Critical Race Theory”. It has been threatened by Republican lawmakers to be barred in schools for the protection of White children from discomfort.  

However, it’s clear that this is more about avoiding the discussions of racism and black history all together. So much history about Black Americans remains untold in schools leaving children to grow up naive and unmindful about others around them. From being taught that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies, we are not providing an honest teaching to younger generations. I believe many can agree that one month does not endow the abundances of history and culture Black people have provided to America. Black Americans are pioneers who built a society from the ground up since 1619, when the first enslaved people were driven out of Africa to brought to America

Unfortunately, even as of 2022, and almost 60 years after the establishment of the Civil Rights Movement and other organizations that followed, Blacks continue to suffer with racial disparities in the workplace compared to others of color. As a matter of fact, Black business professionals only hold 3.2% of all Executive or Senior leadership roles, and less than 1% of all Fortune 500 CEO positions. They make up 13% of the U.S population, but account for only 8% of employees in professional roles.

It brings me so much joy to be a part of Her Campus. As a graduate student with a plethora of life experiences on what it is like after college or even during, is an amazing feeling to be able to use and help those younger than me. I look forward to being a guide, a mentor and more to young women trying to survive in this tough society.