How to educate yourself on discrimination and black history

May 7, 2022

Brewer Morris is proud to celebrate Black History Month.

We recognize that honoring Black History goes beyond the duration of February and that we should actively look to celebrate Black History, uplift the voices of our Black colleagues, and genuinely continue to uncover ways we can eradicate discrimination, unconscious or active, of any sort, during the recruitment, hiring and employment processes.

Being aware of the fullness of our history allows us all to challenge ourselves on internal biases. Black History Month is a reminder to actively champion diversity; it’s a chance for us to find more ways to commemorate an overshadowed history and overlooked voices.

The first of this four-part series celebrating Black History Month looks at resources that will promote a fuller understanding of Black History, see how to combat unconscious bias, and how we can support Black colleagues.

Origins and Milestones. The history of Black Americans and their myriad contributions is deeply ingrained into the roots of the country. Much of that same history has been under-recorded, undertaught, not celebrated, and has been subject to deliberate revisionism, appropriation, and erasure. We have compiled some resources sharing important milestones that we should all be aware of. Take a look below!

  1. Black History Month 2022: What is it and why is it celebrated?
    This article from Al Jazeera is a good starting point to use as a guide to understanding what Black History Month is and how it is celebrated. It contains videos discussing “Are Black Americans the true ‘founding fathers’?” and shares another looking into the Lives of Black Women.
    Read here
  1. Here’s the story behind Black History Month — and why it’s celebrated in February
    An insightful piece from NPR diving further into the origins of Black History Month, including a look into how Carter J. Woodson, the ‘father of Black history,’ chose February as the month to celebrate, and the themes assigned to the month by the ASALH.
    Read the article here | Read more on the themes here
     
  2. Google on Black History
    This exciting piece by Google is all about celebrating key milestones in Black History, from the Civil Rights movement to women who changed the world – Google has shared snippets of personal stories from some brilliant people in the Arts and Culture sector, like Yara Shahidi and Angela Rye, and you can easily explore more content on Black Creators and Black History by navigating the options at the end of the page.
    Read here
     

Workplace Discrimination
“Black, Latinx, and Asian workers feel more belonging working remotely”.

This statement from the below Well + Good article reflects how workplace discrimination and microaggressions can isolate our Black co-workers. Whilst hybrid working offers a temporary solution, the root of the problem lies within internalized discrimination materializing in the office.

The resources below are good educational pieces on how we can make the workplace a more inclusive environment.

  1. Black, Latinx, and Asian Workers Feel More Belonging Working Remotely, Which Says a Lot About Workplace Culture
    Well + Good’s article, mentioned above, explores the reasons why employees of color might feel more comfortable in a hybrid or fully remote workplace and discusses what leaders can do to be aware of discomforts and aim to create a more welcoming environment.
    Read here
  1. White People Say They’re Allies at Work. Black And Latina Women Disagree.
    This impactful piece, written in 2020 during the height of the recent Black Lives Matter movement, delves into a study exploring the misconception that there is a strong sense of allyship in the workplace. This moving article is a real eye-opener as to what we think we’re doing right, compared to what actions we should instead be taking as allies.
    Read here
  1. Exploring The Ways Internalized Oppression Shows Up in The Workplace
    Janice Asare’s Forbes article brings up the tough subject of the role of internalized oppression in the workspace. She discusses how marginalized groups can often internalize negative tropes, which can then in turn manifest in negative attitudes, such as having a scarcity mindset or developing imposter syndrome. A must-read article.
    Read here
  1. If You’re Not Sure What Workplace Microaggressions Look Like, Here Are 7 Examples
    The final resource looking into how to educate yourself on discrimination lists variations of microaggressions that people of color are all very familiar with. From articulation to attitude, this article is a great piece to read to find out the common microaggressions that our Black co-workers face.
    Read here

This article is the first of a four-part series celebrating Black History Month. The next article will discuss different ways you can proactively be an ally during Black History Month and beyond.