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Comic: Three Things You Don’t Say to the Only Black Woman in the Office

Just don't.

FULL PANEL

With our new president’s term well underway, my white liberal co-workers are still in mourning. Staff meetings are tantamount to mandatory pity parties. 

Boss: I really want to make sure everyone is ok.
Co-worker: How can we ever be ok again? We have a sexist pig in charge.
Boss: I know, I know. The next 4 years will be worse than slavery.
Me: …

This is one of the many fun conversations we have on race. I experience anti-Black microagressions at work more often than I’d like. Writing and humor are my ongoing salvation. So here’s a comic that shows three inappropriate comments about race I’ve experienced at work and how the situations could have been handled differently. It is so difficult to talk frankly about race at the office; I am too scared of losing my job. But here’s one way to have a more effectively engaging conversation about race that is both compassionate and critical.

Africa Jackson is a politics + culture writer for Taji Magazine. She dabbles in propaganda and parenting. Follow her on IG + Twitter: @AfricaJwrites.

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.