Saw someone tweet that Black women are not allowed to be introverts at work and wow do I have a story for that!!!
Once when I was working at a ~media~ company, on an all-white team, (other than two interns) my manager (who was best friends with like 2 ppl on the team) had the audacity to put “Needs improvement in team effort” in my annual performance review
I had no idea what that broad-ass comment even meant, and given that this review played a huge role in whether I could advocate for a raise or not, I decided to ask for further explanation.
And the examples he came back with were: You don’t really talk with us a lot in the Slack channel, you don’t really go to a lot of our team events, and you just don’t really interact with the team a lot
Mind you, the Slack channel was completely separate from anything work-related and I didn’t have any interest in sending Disney Channel memes all day or talking about TV shows that I don’t even watch. On this team, I was an introvert, and it was a huge problem
In my opinion, the discussions were shallow, no one at the time seemed to have any opinions on the news, and being that I was the only Black person on staff... there was a huge gap in interests. Respectfully, I still did my work and was kind to everyone. Yet...
My introvert-behavior was consistently brought up as an issue and used in every performance review as an equivalent to “not showing team effort” What’s more frustrating is how common this is among Black people in predominantly white spaces, despite them being a high performer.
This is also a great example of how you can vote blue, self identify as progressive, tweet about social justice and simultaneously due to your unconscious biases be creating stress and problems for/not hearing the Black/POC within your own circle.
Many people are guilty of this kind of unconscious behavior. It’s very interesting to watch (from my phone) people who had unconscious biases toward me, called me aggressive for not using a damn smiley emoji in a Slack group, etc. parade their “wokeness” online.

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