By Ahmad Jenkins
As we are all watching history unfold surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd other African American men and women who needlessly lost their lives. I’m reminded they were doing nothing more than going about their day as any normal individual would. Now it seems more and more people are realizing just how much black lives do matter.
I’m excited, personally. African Americans have been voicing how much work there needs to be done to improve life for ourselves since before most of us reading this were born 😂. And while we are protesting and speaking out against injustice at the hands of militarized police departments, we must also keep at the forefront of our minds the deepening racial wealth gap that threatens African American families and communities across the nation.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was working in a fulltime retail position, and found it to be the most stressful 4 years I had ever endured at any given workplace. I had at that time put working on Writing Elite and freelance writing as a part-time thing in place of what I thought was a more stable income. During that time I slowly but surely began to realize that no matter how hard I worked, how much I wanted to advance. The color of my skin was always going to be a determining factor.
Now mind you, I wasn’t seeking some high position as manager (not that it’s that high a jump in retail work in begin with), or even make it into some corporate was attempting to move up from ground level to the next basic level of a trainer, buyer, or even supervisor. It had my anti-discrimination senses tingling, and like any good writer, I committed a lot of my time to research a lot about the subject, especially in terms of the industry I was working in at the time.
What I found was several former employees of the same company who felt the need to tell their story. So I thought in this post of “In the Workplace” I would share theirs alongside my own.
Voicing the Struggle
While these stories show just how African American men (and women) are treated in that particular industry. There is the deeper story of a wealth gap that extends even into the corporate workplace where African Americans are largely underrepresented and horribly underpaid. Just how large and persistent are these racial wealth gaps, you ask? To start, the median net worth for white households has far exceeded that of Black households through recessions and booms over the last thirty years. The result is the wealth of a white family ends up higher than a black family.
Bringing Life lessons to Life.
I’m sure the protests and all the continuous calls to remind people that black lives matter. That we ( African Americans) have the right to excel at life and more importantly live. To work and not be held down or kept back from our career goals.
At this time it’s too early to tell what the current protests will bring about for the black community and various communities of people of color. We’ve obviously got people’s attention as more platforms are asking to finally hear our voice, and begin to understand the pain we’ve been enduring for over 500 years of enslavement, social injustice, and systemic poverty that to this day we’re just now getting people to address with all of this with some seriousness.
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