Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Unwritten Rules, a Comical Look At Being Black in the Workplace

I don't know about you, but I am beyond frustrated with the lack of meaningful roles for Black women in the media.  This is what spurred me to check out The Unwritten Rules.
The Unwritten Rules is a new web series by Kim Williams and is based on her 2004 book, Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman. Williams is a 15-year vet of the industry and said she wrote the book after often being the only black person on the job.

She describes the show as:

The comedic realities of being an African-American in a predominantly white workplace. Like the novel, the series delves into the main character, Racey Jones’ head to uncover real situations, truthful thoughts, honest reactions, and hilarious moments that African-Americans experience in the workplace.
I absolutely loved the first episode, which you can see below.  It was a relief to see a character that I can identify with.  I have been the one Black person in an all White work place and let me tell you, it's not fun. You are always hyper aware that you are not like everyone else and race becomes the constant focus of your co-workers as they attempt to attribute every negative stereotype to you.  

Watching it, I could not help but compare it to HBO's Girls.  Where Girls fails on confronting race, or having really empowered characters, The Unwritten Rules wins.  The Unwritten Rules dares to say the truth, whereas Girls masquerades with faux feminist angsting.  Girls attempts to present itself as universal of all women, whereas The Unwritten Rules deals with a segment of society that must negotiate race and gender, which continually marks women of colour as "other".  If we are going to have conversations about women, we need to move away from White, straight, cis women as universal.

Please use this thread to talk about your experiences of oppression in the workplace,  whether it is homophobia, sexism or racism.  Also if you have experience being the only marginalized person in your place of employment please share the effect that this has had on you.