Gathered around after-work glasses of wine, Black women carve out spaces to process the indignities of their taken-for-granted labor. In Black Women at Work: On Refusal and Recovery, author Wendi Williams asserts that these indignities are neither new nor out of the ordinary, but a symptom of the inequity crafted by design when the first enslaved Africans were trafficked to labor for free to build the foundations of this nation’s wealth.
Williams argues that, as a consequence of intersecting race, gender, and class dynamics, Black women share a number of common experiences in the modern workplace. They are passed over, hidden in plain sight, and shushed or silenced, and they find themselves at career and professional crossroads and experience the microaggression of invisibility.
Through the critical lens of race and feminism, Williams presents examples from her own leadership development work, her personal narrative, and stories pulled from popular culture. Examples from politics, entertainment, and other media demonstrate the widespread nature of these dynamics and how they shape Black women’s lives in spite of their increasing access to power and privilege.
- Offers a common-sense, theoretically based systems analysis of Black women's experiences in the workplace
- Articulates reasonable and realistic approaches to remedying intersectional inequity for Black women (and others) in the workplace
- Provides a generalizable framework to make individual and systemic changes and/or cope within a range of employment contexts
- Includes vignettes from dozens of women the author has counseled or worked with in diversity groups
- Ties into contemporary activism, such as #BlackGirlsMagic and #ListentoBlackWomen