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The Impact Of The Angry Black Woman Stereotype in the Workplace

It’s the attitude. It’s the sass. It’s the rebellion. It’s the neck snap. All of these stereotypes have led to the negative tropes of portrayals that Black women face. In the workplace we often face unseen challenges that lead to overwhelming levels of frustration. In a staff meeting we can be seen as rebellious if we speak our opinion which often is stated from pure facts or common sense. When speaking with new clients we may be reminded of how to speak or how to portray ourselves in order to result in landing a new client or contract.

These negative stereotypes can be linked to feelings of being overwhelmed, overworked and misunderstood in the workplace. Many may even find themselves questioning their own mental sanity, choice of profession and more. I had a particular situation in which the employer advised that I seek the employee assistance program. I was speechless. Why did speaking up, stating facts and going against the grain result in my need to seek professional help?

Throughout my professional journey I had to realize some key points in my life to debunk this myth while living on my own terms:

  • Choose Peace: Yes, you’re not angry or speaking out of pocket. But always choose peace. If you have to remove yourself from the team, conversation or etc to have peace, then so be it. Your peace is your livelihood.

  • Stand Your Ground: If you consistently find yourself mediating your way through the workday or work environment then it may no longer be of any value to you. Yes, you may miss your favorite co-worker but the time may be up. If it is no longer adding value, feeding your passion or satisfying you, then stand your ground to make positive moves.

  • Educate Others: Most misconceptions come from ignorance. Educate those around you with new book readings, articles or etc to teach them about culture competency, debunking the myth and positive workplace behavior. Some people may honestly not know any better. So sharing your ‘why’ may be a simple cure.

No workplace is the same but advocating for yourself is always a must. With more communication we can hopefully debunk this angry Black woman myth. In the meantime, protect your peace and watch your neck, unless provoked.

Photo Credit: Nappy Co @thaislyrafotografia

Writer, C. Scott, is a mompreneur, literacy advocate, social worker and more. Connect with her on Instagram and Clubhouse as @curls_coils.

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