That’s My Name In Black And White

, , , , | Working | May 7, 2018

(I am having a conference call with several people in my department. We are using PCs and the webcam feature, so whoever is speaking appears on everyone’s screens. I have been quiet throughout most of the meeting, as I am taking minutes. I quickly answer a question.)

Colleague: “Ooh, I didn’t know [My Name] was black!”

Me: “Umm, yeah.”

Colleague: “You don’t sound black, and your name isn’t black. That’s such a shock.”

Me: “I guess.”

Colleague: “You should have said!”

(There was an awkward silence before the meeting continued. After we wrapped up, she emailed me, asking me to visit her, because there weren’t enough black people in her local department and she’d been receiving complaints of discrimination. She said there just weren’t any black people applying for jobs. She works in London, the most ethnically diverse city in the UK.)

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