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How do I cope with being the only Black Person? watch

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    Before anyone gets offended please understand this isn't meant to offend anyone. As a Black person things are just harder sometimes for example I have to contstanly police my actions to avoid being the "angry black woman" even though people are being blatanly rude/ignorant/racist.


    I have recently started a new job and I am the only black person. The only reason I bring this up is because my manager has asked me to come in and sign an equal oppurnities form. I am not sure if this is standard practice but it did throw me off slightly. Also I honestly struggle to relate to some of my co workers,there are just slight cultural diferences between us and frankly some of them are not very bright(for lack of a better word). They are just typical party drunk make up english people and I am just not like that. I though enjoy going out and make up like the next girl but that is not my life.

    I was recently in the same situation and had to deal with some very ignorant comments eg why dont black people like the sun? in Africa do you use fork and Knives? and people constanly asking to touch my hair or asking questions about my hair. I absolulately hated it ! as a matter of fact I mentioned this to a co worker and she said "I believe it may just be your personality and if this happened to someone else this wouldnt be a problem".

    I know I shouldnt expect my new job to be the same but things started the exact same way at my previous job and I reallly do not want to be in the same situation.


    So everyone How do I deal with this? I dont want to be unhappy again and I like my job.
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    You don't necessarily have to be like your friends to get along with them. Maybe you're underestimating them as well, there's always more to a person than being drunk and makeup :borat:
    And the comments and stuff...that's got to be annoying I understand completely. People as me "do you ear curry everyday?" and "are your parents going to arrange your marriage?" it drives me mental. But I i'm getting used to it and you will too.
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    Hi there,

    I understand how you feel. Although I'm not black I was the only Asian person in my class. And in my workplace.

    I'll shortlist some things i learned:
    - You'll be the token black friend/co-worker now. Anything you do may be held up against your race and analysed. Stereotyping tends to be worse if you're female too. I would say the first thing is to be aware of this. It's not usually pleasant but we all do it actually. For example I'm sure you recognise that not all English people are the same, but you might think they're "typical" English guys if they get drunk. The same way if you're a good dancer it might be because you're black. If you're angry it may be linked back to your race and perhaps even crime statistics. Often it's usually innocent (we do it to help our brain accept new things as normal i think). But be aware and accept this and it makes the journey smoother
    - develop a sense of humour rather than getting annoyed. It will make people warm up to you and thus treat you better be welcoming and friendly ^.^
    -try and understand the other sides to their personality. Some people are as shallow as 2D puddles but others are more than what meets the eye. Sometimes it takes weeks to get to this stage.
    - remember it's probably not their fault that they're ignorant. Like I've said it's happened to me - an Asian. It would probably happen to a white man in a non white environment too. This is the first step in multiculturalism. Own it and take it as an opportunity to subtly educate people.
    I'll be honest, i was raised with parents who dont particularly think well of black people. But the first black friend i made was so lovely and patient and nice that i don't even listen to people's stereotypes of blacks now. It broke that wall that older generations had instilled in us (wrongfully)
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Before anyone gets offended please understand this isn't meant to offend anyone. As a Black person things are just harder sometimes for example I have to contstanly police my actions to avoid being the "angry black woman" even though people are being blatanly rude/ignorant/racist.


    I have recently started a new job and I am the only black person. The only reason I bring this up is because my manager has asked me to come in and sign an equal oppurnities form. I am not sure if this is standard practice but it did throw me off slightly. Also I honestly struggle to relate to some of my co workers,there are just slight cultural diferences between us and frankly some of them are not very bright(for lack of a better word). They are just typical party drunk make up english people and I am just not like that. I though enjoy going out and make up like the next girl but that is not my life.

    I was recently in the same situation and had to deal with some very ignorant comments eg why dont black people like the sun? in Africa do you use fork and Knives? and people constanly asking to touch my hair or asking questions about my hair. I absolulately hated it ! as a matter of fact I mentioned this to a co worker and she said "I believe it may just be your personality and if this happened to someone else this wouldnt be a problem".

    I know I shouldnt expect my new job to be the same but things started the exact same way at my previous job and I reallly do not want to be in the same situation.


    So everyone How do I deal with this? I dont want to be unhappy again and I like my job.
    People are genuinely interested in the things that make you different. Someone who touches your hair is interested in how your hair feels but has never been in a position where they felt close and confident enough to ask before. It is not the sort of thing one can do to random strangers on the tube.

    Yes, of course they will be ignorant but that is why they are asking you. It isn't a foregone conclusion that Africans use knives and forks. Chinese people don't and people were eating food in Africa long before European colonisation.

    The time to call them out on this is if they start mocking or disparaging you.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Before anyone gets offended please understand this isn't meant to offend anyone. As a Black person things are just harder sometimes for example I have to contstanly police my actions to avoid being the "angry black woman" even though people are being blatanly rude/ignorant/racist.


    I have recently started a new job and I am the only black person. The only reason I bring this up is because my manager has asked me to come in and sign an equal oppurnities form. I am not sure if this is standard practice but it did throw me off slightly. Also I honestly struggle to relate to some of my co workers,there are just slight cultural diferences between us and frankly some of them are not very bright(for lack of a better word). They are just typical party drunk make up english people and I am just not like that. I though enjoy going out and make up like the next girl but that is not my life.

    I was recently in the same situation and had to deal with some very ignorant comments eg why dont black people like the sun? in Africa do you use fork and Knives? and people constanly asking to touch my hair or asking questions about my hair. I absolulately hated it ! as a matter of fact I mentioned this to a co worker and she said "I believe it may just be your personality and if this happened to someone else this wouldnt be a problem".

    I know I shouldnt expect my new job to be the same but things started the exact same way at my previous job and I reallly do not want to be in the same situation.


    So everyone How do I deal with this? I dont want to be unhappy again and I like my job.
    You are not alone. Find confidence in this article: http://feministculture.com/index.php...-a-black-girl/
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    If you don't want to "offend", then why seemingly use Black to mean African?


    Axalia's link would be hilarious if it wasn't such tragic, racist "You're a victim" propaganda.
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    (Original post by Kurtle)
    If you don't want to "offend", then why seemingly use Black to mean African?


    Axalia's link would be hilarious if it wasn't such tragic, racist "You're a victim" propaganda.
    I lost a total of 8.5 brain cells opening that link and seeing the website's URL.
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    Nulli Tertius has hit the nail on the head.

    Axalia missed the nail completely and has dented the table.
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    (Original post by Kurtle)
    If you don't want to "offend", then why seemingly use Black to mean African?

    With respect she isn't being offensive.

    She is the only black person in the workplace. There are no other persons (whether Africans, West Indians, Black British, Black Americans, Black Swedes, Australian Aborginals etc) of her skin colour in the workplace.

    However, because she is African, her colleagues ask her questions about Africa and Africans rather than about Jamaica or Atlanta.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    With respect she isn't being offensive.

    She is the only black person in the workplace. There are no other persons (whether Africans, West Indians, Black British, Black Americans, Black Swedes, Australian Aborginals etc) of her skin colour in the workplace.

    However, because she is African, her colleagues ask her questions about Africa and Africans rather than about Jamaica or Atlanta.
    I didn't say she was being offensive, but seeing as though everything is "offensive" these days, I was merely asking the question.

    My point is that being black is seemingly meaningless here outside of the hair "issue".
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    (Original post by Kurtle)
    If you don't want to "offend", then why seemingly use Black to mean African?


    Axalia's link would be hilarious if it wasn't such tragic, racist "You're a victim" propaganda.
    In what way is my link racist?


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    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by ssssssppp)
    You don't necessarily have to be like your friends to get along with them. Maybe you're underestimating them as well, there's always more to a person than being drunk and makeup :borat:
    And the comments and stuff...that's got to be annoying I understand completely. People as me "do you ear curry everyday?" and "are your parents going to arrange your marriage?" it drives me mental. But I i'm getting used to it and you will too.
    (Original post by Shirogirl)
    Hi there,

    I understand how you feel. Although I'm not black I was the only Asian person in my class. And in my workplace.

    I'll shortlist some things i learned:
    - You'll be the token black friend/co-worker now. Anything you do may be held up against your race and analysed. Stereotyping tends to be worse if you're female too. I would say the first thing is to be aware of this. It's not usually pleasant but we all do it actually. For example I'm sure you recognise that not all English people are the same, but you might think they're "typical" English guys if they get drunk. The same way if you're a good dancer it might be because you're black. If you're angry it may be linked back to your race and perhaps even crime statistics. Often it's usually innocent (we do it to help our brain accept new things as normal i think). But be aware and accept this and it makes the journey smoother
    - develop a sense of humour rather than getting annoyed. It will make people warm up to you and thus treat you better be welcoming and friendly ^.^
    -try and understand the other sides to their personality. Some people are as shallow as 2D puddles but others are more than what meets the eye. Sometimes it takes weeks to get to this stage.
    - remember it's probably not their fault that they're ignorant. Like I've said it's happened to me - an Asian. It would probably happen to a white man in a non white environment too. This is the first step in multiculturalism. Own it and take it as an opportunity to subtly educate people.
    I'll be honest, i was raised with parents who dont particularly think well of black people. But the first black friend i made was so lovely and patient and nice that i don't even listen to people's stereotypes of blacks now. It broke that wall that older generations had instilled in us (wrongfully)
    I would not compare your treatment with being black. Curry and negative stereotypes of black people are not the same. It's just food, nothing drastic; don;t know why you even stated this. Everyone loves a curry for goodness sake, they are just taking a mickey. Your experience and her experience are not the same, and cannot be compared. Black skin is seen as inferior to any race. Asians have fairer skin, are portrayed as smart, have European hair, suck up to white people ( sorry if uncalled for, but Asians love fair skin, this is a widely known fact, any one that says something different is not being trustworthy- skin lightening is a big business in Asia and Asians are afraid to be darkened in the sun). There are negative stereotypes of Asians e.g. terrorism, but this is based on religion or being short etc. This is nothing compared to what black people face.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Before anyone gets offended please understand this isn't meant to offend anyone. As a Black person things are just harder sometimes for example I have to contstanly police my actions to avoid being the "angry black woman" even though people are being blatanly rude/ignorant/racist.


    I have recently started a new job and I am the only black person. The only reason I bring this up is because my manager has asked me to come in and sign an equal oppurnities form. I am not sure if this is standard practice but it did throw me off slightly. Also I honestly struggle to relate to some of my co workers,there are just slight cultural diferences between us and frankly some of them are not very bright(for lack of a better word). They are just typical party drunk make up english people and I am just not like that. I though enjoy going out and make up like the next girl but that is not my life.

    I was recently in the same situation and had to deal with some very ignorant comments eg why dont black people like the sun? in Africa do you use fork and Knives? and people constanly asking to touch my hair or asking questions about my hair. I absolulately hated it ! as a matter of fact I mentioned this to a co worker and she said "I believe it may just be your personality and if this happened to someone else this wouldnt be a problem".

    I know I shouldnt expect my new job to be the same but things started the exact same way at my previous job and I reallly do not want to be in the same situation.


    So everyone How do I deal with this? I dont want to be unhappy again and I like my job.
    Since you are unhappy about the way they treat you, tell them off, who cares about them calling you an angry black woman. People will be bigoted, racist and discriminatory no matter how you don't fit into their preconceived idea of black people being stupid, lazy, crime ridden etc stereotypes. You don't have to bear it like an Aunt Jemima, speak your mind. If you don't speak up, they will continue.

    For them touching your hair, simply tell them, I don't like people touching my hair please, say it in a firm tone and indifferent face. No one has a right to pelt someone's hair if they don't consent to it. They should go to the zoo if they love touching things so much.

    About black people not liking the sun? Ask them if they have asked all the black people in the world to know that. Also say, you are not a representative for every black person, so you wouldn't know. Black people have their different likes and dislikes like every other race.

    For their knives and fork comment. Say: Of course I do, Africa is not a jungle please, do enlighten yourself. Shock horror, do you also know that they drive cars in Africa, have international public/private schools and five star hotels like the Hilton in Africa! Who would have thought right? That should completely shut them up.

    Keep anon or delete

    (Original post by sticksforarms)
    I guess the best way is to poke fun at yourself, I find the more touchy you are about the subject the more people play on it. I had a lovely black girl in my French class and it took about two years before I could take the p!ss about her being black and she could take the p!ss about white girl stereotypes, it was a great level of friendship with some friendly racism involved. Try not to upset yourself about people being thoughtless, they probably don't even realise they're being an arse.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by sticksforarms)
    I guess the best way is to poke fun at yourself, I find the more touchy you are about the subject the more people play on it. I had a lovely black girl in my French class and it took about two years before I could take the p!ss about her being black and she could take the p!ss about white girl stereotypes, it was a great level of friendship with some friendly racism involved. Try not to upset yourself about people being thoughtless, they probably don't even realise they're being an arse.
    There is NOTHING friendly about racism, you entitled person. Why did you want to take the piss out of her skin colour? Too blatant for you to gloss over? Didn't know skin colour was so important until I came to this forum to see ignorant posters like you.

    Keep anon or delete
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    There is NOTHING friendly about racism, you entitled person. Why did you want to take the piss out of her skin colour? Too blatant for you to gloss over? Didn't know skin colour was so important until I came to this forum to see ignorant posters like you.

    Keep anon or delete
    We were very good friends, between friends there is a bond that allows this but it needs to be understood by both parties that it is acceptable. I didn't jump right in there with the racism straightaway it takes trust to be able to insult one another like that. I'm in a relationship with a half-Thai boy and I throw racism at him all the time, it doesn't mean we don't love each other.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I would not compare your treatment with being black. Curry and negative stereotypes of black people are not the same. It's just food, nothing drastic; don;t know why you even stated this. Everyone loves a curry for goodness sake, they are just taking a mickey. Your experience and her experience are not the same, and cannot be compared. Black skin is seen as inferior to any race. Asians have fairer skin, are portrayed as smart, have European hair, suck up to white people ( sorry if uncalled for, but Asians love fair skin, this is a widely known fact, any one that says something different is not being trustworthy- skin lightening is a big business in Asia and Asians are afraid to be darkened in the sun). There are negative stereotypes of Asians e.g. terrorism, but this is based on religion or being short etc. This is nothing compared to what black people face.
    Without nitpicking on your comment, I just want to say that you cannot dismiss my post and advice because being black and being asian are not the exact same experience. Whilst I'm sure the OP would like a listening ear, I don't think that helping her feel more of a victim than she already does is the right way to go about this.

    And black people are known for a number of great things too? Being great dancers, wonderful socialisers, good story tellers, having awesome hair (which they themselves often hate more than "outsiders" do).etc.

    Oh and skin whitening is big in black communities too. And in latino. It's big everywhere coloured people are present.

    Please do not encourage further victim complexes. I doubt this was intentional but it looks like the post is heading that way.
 
 
 
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