Here is a sneak peak of a piece I wrote for Slate called “I’m Black. Remote Work Has Been Good For My Health.” Click on the link below to finish reading the essay.
In my 20-plus years in corporate America, there has never been a time that my race was an afterthought. I have always been a Black person before any title, and the office space never let me forget that. When there would be discussions about race, I or other African Americans were often viewed as the experts on everything Black. On more than one occasion, if the police drove by with sirens while I was having lunch with colleagues, someone would joke that the cops were “coming to get me.” Nearly all my white co-workers thought it was funny, letting out a laugh. Only my Asian colleague looked at me and “didn’t get it.” Receptionists often questioned my credentials, such as my badge, position, and work status. While working at a telecommunications provider in Kansas City, Missouri, a white supervisor felt the only way he could communicate with me was to try his hand at slang. It felt like a bad Dave Chappelle skit. At one technology firm, the environment where I was one of the few Black tech support representatives became so untenable I was happy when I was laid off. Read more here.