Observations of an Invisible Woman

Black vs Black…In The Workplace

{This will be apart of an ongoing series exploring the dynamics of black relationships}

If you have brown skin, you know just how hard it is in the workplace. Since the powers that be never hire more than a certain number of us, except in food service and housekeeping, we must work twice as hard to be considered half as competent. Perhaps the most baffling thing about the black psyche is the way we relate and treat one another. I understand why whites hate us. It’s apart of who they are. But black animosity is quite stunning.

Take my friend X. As a SUNY graduate, she is smart as a whip, thin, model beautiful and hated amongst her black constituents. X is an overachiever. And proud of it. She comes from a long line of overachievers and knows the value of working her fingers to the  bone. X calls me to tell me the most heartbreaking thing a black person can hear; that the other black women on her job are trying to destroy her. Let’s examine this:

Whites have no conscience when it comes to making money. If they did, slavery would have never have happened.

I’ve seen whites invite someone over for a barbecue, play a round of golf with them, invite them to little Susie’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon…and on Monday morning, walk in with a Starbucks cup of coffee in their hands, go into the boardroom and slit that person’s throat over the MacKenzie Proposal…all without batting an eyelash.

For whites, money comes first over civility. For whites, it’s business as usual. For whites…no hard feelings, it’s just apart of Survival of the Fittest.

But for blacks…Ahhhh…..not only is it personal but the fact that the attack was administered by a fellow African makes it downright unforgiveable. Let’s examine why this occurs:

1. Knowing that there can only be but one black person at the top, this frenzy…this burning need encourages severe competition. Whites make the rules on how many black people they can hire, yes folks, the quota is real, and knowing this, we will fight tooth and nail to have a little slice of the “white-flavoured pie.” Even if the white pie is poisonous to our souls and distances us from our black family, the desire to be amongst the white elite will take precedence. Sorry folks, I know he’s your hero, but I never really cared for him:

2. Being a product of the white master’s competitive and inhumane ways, we view ourselves as an individual instead of a collective whole. Therefore only our needs count. Only our individual outcome is important. Selfishness becomes apart of our existence. Since you and you alone had to work 2 jobs to get where you are, why can’t other blacks do the same? They’re just lazy. Dumb. And Ignorant. If you pushed and made it, why can’t they? And why should you be responsible for the entire black race?

3. You genuinely hate other black people and wish to see them fail. I know this sounds farfetched but it’s an unfortunate reality. I’ve met a few blacks who hate other blacks. Of course this is the ultimate form of self-hate but it does exist. The thought that a black person will rise to power makes them uneasy. They are accustomed to taking orders from whites who are better suited to be in a position of authority. And a black person, no matter how qualified, can’t “measure up.” Since historically blacks have been subjugated by whites, having a black person in power warrants disrespect and a lackadaisical attitude. When a white boss tells you to get that report done ASAP and you’ll jump to get it done, a black manager isn’t a threat to your job due to the fact that you both come from the “same place.”

What are your thoughts on this phenomenon?

Since this will be an ongoing series, the comments will no doubt be brutal. But I urge all of you to speak honestly.

Single Post Navigation

39 thoughts on “Black vs Black…In The Workplace

  1. mary burrell on said:

    Now what always blew my mind was howthey smiled in each others faces in the break room at lunch and cut the same person’s throat. And what really pisses me off is this one individual a black woman who is like the biggest kercheif head running and snitching to the whie people. I can’t stand an uncle tom. she fails to realize that she is a nigger to them all day everyday. she is nothing but a slave.

  2. mary burrell on said:

    White people talk behind each other’s back and skin and grin in each others faces.Typical backstabbers. But many black are just as guilty of this as well. smh.

  3. Miss Mary:

    Whites who backstab are just doing what comes natural to their character. When we do it to each other it’s shocking and hurtful.

  4. mary burrell on said:

    Another thing I have observed, When a black peosonis in a positon of authority or an admistrative position. The other black employee will not give the black person in authority the same respect as that of the white person in authourity.

  5. mary burrell on said:

    when a black person * Forgive the typo.

  6. Because there is no fear in that authority.

  7. Let’s not forget the black person in a position of authority, trying to go along with the program, afraid of being accused of showing favorites or looking weak, coming down harder on their black employees than their white employees.

  8. @ Brandon

    Thank you!!!!

  9. mary burrell on said:

    I remember a number of years ago there was a certain business man in the city where I live who own a hair care line. The factory where his product were made was here in the city where I live. I take the commuter train to work, I would hear the black workers talking about how cheap he was. They would talk about theRolls Royce he drove and yadda yadda, I thought well ” did’nt he earn those things? His big fancy house and his fancy clothes. The man worked and earned these things. I feel like alot of black people in America are haters. It is the crabs in a barrel syndrome for us. I suppose if alot of his like that man got out and made something happen for our selves we would’nt have to be envious of the sister or brother thats prospering. We are not happy to see others blessings.

  10. Mickey on said:

    Remember that part in “Mississippi Masala” when Denzel Washington’s character became blackballed by the Indian community after it was discovered that he was dating the Indian woman and the Black community talked crap about him? The barber cutting his hair said, “Black folks don’t like to see other Black folks doinig well. They like to sit around and wait for you to fall flat on your ass and when you do they are just as happy.” It saddens me that we live in such a dog-eat-dog world, not just when it comes to other races, but even within your own.

  11. I break this subject down into 3 groups of Black people, Black Americans, Caribbean Blacks, and African Blacks. Of the 3, I ONLY want to work around Caribbean Blacks. Simply put, I’m sick and tired of the trememdous amount of disloyalty among Black Americans. African Blacks only look out for each other. So I’m left with my Caribben Brothers and Sisters who in my experience, have ALWAYS had my back. And I ALWAYS have theirs!

  12. “X calls me to tell me the most heartbreaking thing a black person can hear; that the other black women on her job are trying to destroy her.”

    I know this story quite well. She think she cute, she think she smart, and on and on. And if you’re a lightskinned Black woman, it’s even worse.

  13. Tyrone on said:


    Blacks have not been accustomed to runnin’ ish since we were put on ships and transported to the Americas. Before slavery, Africa was the center of culture, politics, commerce, etc. As to black on black hate in the workplace, we as black folk are the source of the problem. I’m tired of us bitching about what whitey is doing and not doing. Whites don’t have that kind of power over blacks anymore. They act and think the way they do because “Stupid Black People” allow them to do so…Ditto! We envy the sistas and brothas who go out and “Get It.” On the flipside, some of us develop a “Fathead” mentality in relation to other blacks, because we’re the only negro at the top. This group is the dumbest of them all, because they’re not sincere. If one of us makes it, we create a path for others to follow…Simple Logic! As with other ish, whites sit back and laugh at us fighting with each other like always.


  14. Kushite Prince on said:

    We have been brainwashed for over 300 years to hate and not trust each other. We were a peace loving people before we came in contact with these monsters. We sometimes like savagely because we’ve been taught that behavior. They act like savages because it’s in their DNA.

  15. mary burrell on said:

    Maybe I should move to the Carribean. I could get with that. wear my natural hair. Without fear of being judged by other people about loving my blackness. But I remember havinga conversation with a brother from the Bahamas. When heard him speak I noticed he had a nice lilt to his speech, I asked him if he was from Jamaica. He told me I offended him by saying this. I did’nt mean any offense. He went on to say how he was from the Bahamas and that Jamaicans were beneath them. I was shocked. So even with the brothers and sisters from the different islands there is prejudice. So if other blacks no matter where in the world there’s still bigotry. The Nigerian hairbraiders in the neighborhood I live in are not very nice either. I’m paying them for a service and these particular individuals are kind of snotty. Then they started speaking in their native language, I think this is very rude. I will no longer patronize their businesses. People are just trip. I just don’t undrstand sometimes.

  16. Tyrone on said:

    Mary Burrell

    All black folk are screwed up, regardless of what part of the globe they hail from. African-Americans, it seems, are the only sane black people on the planet, just saying. Blacks from the islands and africa have a lot of catching up to do, as it relates to releasing the chains from around their necks. We here in the US are much further along as it relates to being “Authentically Black” in the classical sense. Yes, self-hatred is still a problem with AA, but compared to other blacks, we deserve a round of applause for getting as far as we have.

    Stay Encouraged Sista

  17. mary burrell on said:

    @Tyrone I just love you for that brother. That really encouraged me today.@Mickey You seem to know where I’m coming from.@Dr. Reine I feel you too.

  18. @ Dr. Reine

    Yes…light skin garners many enemies…I know.

  19. To Everyone:

    The Good Dr. made an interesting point about the disconnect between Black Americans, Black Islanders and Africans.

    If you believe this to be true, why do you think it exists????

  20. mary burrell on said:

    I think it could be colonialism. The European influence on people throughout the diaspora on black people. Slavery in The United States The slavemaster with his sick twistedmind to divide blacks and make them hate each other and themselves.

  21. mary burrell on said:

    The Willie Lynch Letter is on my list of books to read. Just recieved my copy of Miseducation of The Negro.

  22. mary burrell on said:

    Sister you inserted the picture of Sidney Poiter in the post. I kind of understand why you would’nt care for him. I used to wonder if he was in the black anglo saxon catagory. I was always on the fence about him. Is’nt he of Island ancestry? I remember reading a memoir called This Life. Tell me your thoughts on him Sister Truth.

  23. Sidney was “chosen” to represent the interracial movement in Hollywood. He started the black middle class, educated, righteous man who openly rejects his people and chooses the white woman…again and again.

    Incidentally, he did the same in real life.

  24. mary burrell on said:

    You said what I could’nt articulate into words concerning Sidney Poitier. I always felt that too, just couldnt put my finger on. but yes I think that clears it all up for me.

  25. African-Americans, it seems, are the only sane black people on the planet, just saying”.

    And I completely disagree based mainly on what I see in higher education AKA studying subjects that will land you a good paying job. Africans and Caribbeans have taking over studying in the STEM areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and in Medicine. So if Black Americans are so sane, why haven’t they jumped on the STEM/get a good job bandwagon? Not doing so in these areas so critical areas to the world’s future is a bad idea.

    Lastly, being “authentically Black” ain’t NEVA’ paid a bill! However, I agree that given where Black Americans came from (slavery), they’ve done pretty well for themselves. Now all they need to do is “step up their game” like folks from India, who within one generation of being in the US, are upper middle class.

  26. @ Tyrone

    African-Americans, it seems, are the only sane black people on the planet, just saying. Blacks from the islands and africa have a lot of catching up to do, as it relates to releasing the chains from around their necks. We here in the US are much further along as it relates to being “Authentically Black” in the classical sense. Yes, self-hatred is still a problem with AA, but compared to other blacks, we deserve a round of applause for getting as far as we have.

    Just… WOW.

    I don’t even know where to start with this one.

    So, before trying to address every one of your points, I need to try and make sure I understood them right in the first place (which is quite unlikely, as the whole post doesn’t make sense to me). Please help me by answering a few simple questions.

    African-Americans, it seems, are the only sane black people on the planet, just saying.

    Question 1 : What makes you think so?
    Question 2 : Are you under the impression that the level of internalized racism (and its consequences: colorism, black-on-black crime, skin bleaching, hair straightening, family dysfunctions, OOW & teen pregnancies, gender war and other social pathologies) is somewhat lower in the African-American community than it is in The Caribbean and Africa?


    Blacks from the islands and africa have a lot of catching up to do, as it relates to releasing the chains from around their necks.

    Matter of fact, Blacks from the Islands and Africa have achieved formal independence for their countries and a modicum of control over their economies.
    So, question 3 : what “catching up” are you talking about?

    Question 4</b: are you familiar with the history (and the struggles) of the Caribbean and Africa?

    We here in the US are much further along as it relates to being “Authentically Black” in the classical sense

    Question 5 : what does “being authentically black in the classical sense” mean?

    @ Thruthbetold

    the disconnect between Black Americans, Black Islanders and Africans.
    […] why do you think it exists????

    *Quiclky re-reads some of the posts above, then shrugs:*
    Ignorance and self-entitlement from all sides, methinks.

  27. @Tyrone

    Just like Dahoman X I have to totally disagree with you.

    I live in England and I have visited parts of Africa, US and Caribbean many times. My last trip to Africa was the Gambia. I never seen so many Black men with such confidence and at ease with themselves. There was no need for empty machismo or domineering nonsense. It was a joy to be in this environment. I have never experienced anything like this to the same scale in the West.

    In terms of the chains around our necks – colonialism was no walk in the park. Imagine what it must feel like to be a second class citizen in your own land? However, it is Black people who hold positions of authority in these countries today.

    What so you mean about being ‘authentically Black’ I have my African name, I eat the same food that my ancestors ate, I hear the language that my ancestors spoke. I don’t know how much more authentic to get than that.

    I remember as a kid growing up in the 80’s that a lot of West Indians kids used to make fun of the African kids because of our long names and that we were studious. I even remember some African kids pretending to be West Indian. We would call them ‘Jafakians’

    There are elements within all of the diaspora who have entitlement issues. Only Black people see different tribes, islands, countries etc. Everyone else just sees that we are Black.

  28. Tyrone on said:


    African-Americans don’t have a problem with their blackness, our problem is political in nature. At the same time, no one can deny the fact that blacks in the US made the world a better place for all blacks. The US is a great nation because of black-americans, folk need to understand that. Yes, we’ve fallen short of our true potential as a group of black people, it pains me deeply. In the same token, AA are not gonna be down forever. This country was founded in the blood of our foreparents, we have just as much claim to it as anybody else. Mary, other blacks have to show proper respect to us. I love all black people, but, the truth is the truth. Caribbean blacks have beef with us, but they’re not that far behind. Spanish blacks are the weak link in the chain, as it relates to the 3 main groups of blacks in this hemisphere. As to East-Indians, they’re treated like dirt in India, yet, they’re the smartest and most accomplished in business, technology, and medicine. East-Indians are an example to other african-descended people, in that, black people can’t be held down by anybody or anything…Ditto! We hold ourselves back. When blackmen and blackwomen really unite for real real…It’s A Wrap!!!

    Thank You Sista

  29. To Tyrone:

    Before a war amongst the family breaks out on my blog…which I’m against by all measures, please allow me to interject.
    The reason why you feel the way you do about African blacks and Islanders is because we’ve been trained to mistrust and fight each other. Marcus Garvey, in his infinite genius, was an Islander and he knew of the importance of Pan Africanism.

    Blacks EVERYWHERE face the same opposition. The SAME racism. The SAME hatred.

    We fought for rights against our oppressors but the weakness within us, that very weakness that won’t allow us to come together due to :

    1. Country of Origin
    2. Skin Colour
    3. Education
    4. Social Status
    5. Money

    Is what will ultimately tear us apart.

    And you know what??????

    That’s just the way white people want it to be.

  30. even today, I was doing some filming with the pale folk and they were so nice and colour blind. I thought to myself that if we were’nt all on set, I might come to tolerate the pretend game, only, it was not real. It was formality, and therefore, pure fakery. Any other time, and these “individuals” would represent the “collective”, and so, I simply remained highly cognizant of this, remembering that even if nice individually, the folk function collectively, and benefit from a system which enables them to be individual.

  31. Yeah…collectively like The Borg.

  32. SierraL on said:

    “African-Americans, it seems, are the only sane black people on the planet, just saying.”

    Thankfully, it’s just your opinion even if it’s offensive

    I could give you many things for why your people are not as sane as you think, just to name a very few: putting anything else above EDUCATION, out of wedlock children, culture that values sport person more than anything, love for video prostitute, overall ignorance, and since you talk about sanity: hight rate of overweight people, call each other the n word like it’s an honor. But I will stop there. And Africans are supposed to do the divisive work lol? you people are not better IT SEEMS.

    Why do wherever I go it’s your people badmouthing Africans and West Indians? You keep thinking about us, it’s good for the ego. I don’t mind unity, as long as you don’t put down me and mine.

  33. I don’t know DOAN,

    Sidney did not start off preferring ww–that is clear by his first wife and his long relationship with Diahann Carroll…

    Then, he did not marry Joanna Shimkus untill way after he had a kid with her, something i suspect wouldn’t have happened with a black woman. I think his current wife was more taken with him than the other way round and he just rode with that.

    He once said of Diahann,”she was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on”, he never said anything remotely similar about his current wife. I agree hollywood politics may have played some role.

    I think Diahann is still in love with the guy, even after all this time,

    Just my two cent.

  34. Agreed. Hollywood does have a funny way of swaying your choices.

  35. Ron Thomas on said:

    Fair points…but in our defense, we are not all what you say.

    My family (immediate and extended), my friends, and my few associates, are ALL college educated, have no out of wedlock children, don’t really give a rolling flip about sports, don’t think we’re TOO ignorant, prefer REAL PORN to the internet stuff (JUST KIDDING), none of us are overweight, and the only N-word we use is “NO” to our children.

    Just because some of us have a different opinion on things, please do not take that as the viewpoint of the majority. I ask that you never lose sight of the main point: We are all looked at under the same microscope and found lacking by white americans, and they don’t see anything other than a black skin.

    Unity IS what we need; but it’s still a bumpy road getting there. Stay with us if you can, cause we’re all on the same path. Some of us just veer off it from time to time.

  36. Truthfulwun on said:

    Reading a lot of the comments and I find absolute truth in many of them. However this african ideology is posion. All black people are not the same. American blacks and west indian blacks are not African!!!…….desegregation was the worst thing thing to happen to us after slavery and this thread is proof.

  37. Paul Mooney said it best, you can take African Zebras and put them in a Canadian zoo and breed them, but what you end up with is not a Canadian Zebra, it’s an African Zebra living in Canada.

    Human beings are no different, it’s genetic/spiritual development taking place over thousands and thousands of years that gives a being its temperament.

    European world domination is what grafts their anti-African behavior onto our personalities, so whether you’re looking at us here, in the Indies, in Europe or on the continent you’re looking at people trying to stop the pain of self-denial/denial of spirit through affectation.

    The “poisonous” African ideology you’re referring to is really the cure, but when we’ve been sick for such a long time the cure is going to be a jagged and bitter pill to swallow.

  38. I know this is 2015 but I had to comment because this makes my blood boil.I remember when I got to my first duty station and the girl who was suppose to be my trainer found out I had a bachelor’s degree.She told me she never finished college because she chose to have a man.I wondered how that was my problem but she sure made it an issue.Anyone who found out you were more qualified suddenly made you a target.This uncle/aunty Tom went behind closed doors and told the white supervisors and the rest was history.I had a target on my back until I left.Never mind the struggle I had to go through to make ends meet or my parents sacrificing to help me through school.Or the fact I hated the major I had but it was too late, I had to complete it.Hence, having to enlist in their super oppressive system. They all mainly entered with a diploma so being a darkskinned,skinny,Caribbean female with a degree was a no,no.They would ask why not be an officer.But telling them I just don’t want that responsibility or anything was as bad as talking to a Yurugu.These Uncle Tom kiss asses are a bit ale weapon to whites in the destruction of black people.They made the work environment so toxic,I would never try to be in any environment with just them.

  39. Also I read the comment about the categories of Black people my interest waseaked. And as far as I’m concerned hailing from the beautiful island of Jamaica and also living in the U.S. And have been around many Africans.I truly believe none to be better than the other.We all share the same self hatred and ignorance.I feel in Jamaica I was made very aware of my darkskin by other darkskinned people.I heard the worst names,tar baby,blackie and black always associated with ugly.Lightskinned individuals and whites are put on a pedestal by darkskinned people.By the time I was 6 I knew how shade and color could enhance or affect your life negatively.The little boys always chased the mixed,Lightskinned females with the long hair.And isolate the darkerskinned, never mind I was smarter than all of them combined a darkskinned female is the bottom of society. On YouTube they documented the bleaching epidemic in Jamaica.It’s ridiculous.However,not everyone thinks this way.For the longest time no matter what I always knew I was beautiful and exotic.I however, fell into believing that lighter was brighter cause that’s all I was bombarded with but I refused to continue to think this way.And there are people in Jamaica who think this but it’s without a doubt sad how western culture has impacted them mostly through the media and foreigners.But I believe I was made in this skin so I could see clearer.How ridiculous it was to emulate another for their looks.
    I’ve been around Africans and have met good ones and bad ones.The ones who are mean spirited if you’re not from Africa directly as they believe they are better than us because their ancestors were never caught in the slave trade. They ask where I’m from then proceed to speak in their native tongues.I haven’t gone to an African Braider salon/shop/back alley that wasn’t an embarrassment to black owned businesses.
    And black Americans,hmmm a mixture of both.But they have more advantages than these third world country citizens but gripe about it when Caribbean or Africans capitalize on some of these so called benefits.Either way the white man has definitely been progressing in their divide and conquer antics.United we stand divided we fall and we are falling.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: