Acknowledging Black Employees - Being Black in America - A Review

Updated: Sep 4

As you know, Avinu Consulting is a consultation firm dedicated to helping organizations strengthen their workforce by focusing on people, process and profit. An important side of strengthening the workforce is by acknowledging and appreciating the differences that exist in your employees. As a Black woman, I personally know what it is like to feel essentially ignored in the workplace. So, for Mental Health Awareness month, I am writing a candid blog post about a recent shooting that occurred in the United States.

Recently, a video surfaced of a young, Black man by the name of Ahmaud Arbery being shot. In the video, it appears that he is running, being chased, runs towards a white man with a gun, wrestles with the man and then after a few seconds (and shots), falls dead to the ground. It has thus far, rattled many communities within the United States.


My hope is that it will not cause much of a ruckus or work any of you up in a lather.  Instead, I hope it gives you pause and makes you consider, with empathy the experience of being Black in America.

Being Black in America is exhausting.  Being Black in America is traumatizing.

I should just stop there but I cannot.  Imagine knowing that someone who shares similar attributes to you or your loved ones was chased down, attempted to defend for his life and shot down...for jogging.  Imagine knowing that someone who shares similar attributes to you or your loved ones decided to go to church and was murdered while worshiping.  Imagine knowing someone who shares similar attributes to you or your loved ones is shot in a park who is only 12 years old.  Imagine knowing that someone who shares similar attributes to you or your loved ones can't get pulled over...ask a copy a question, take out your wallet, cash a check, decorate a party, or even SLEEP without the threat of being shot. 

And so you mourn.  You mourn for the mothers that have to bury their children prematurely.  You mourn for the families that lost their member.  You mourn for the dreams that were never realized.  You mourn.

And then imagine that your husband leaves your house to get groceries.  You panic, you think the worst, you're afraid that he will become yet another hashtag.  You check your phone relentlessly.  You text to get updates every 5 minutes.  You panic.  Further imagine raising a Black son in America...you worry that he will be perceived as a threat, you have nightmares that his youth will be shrouded in fear, you are plagued with thoughts.  "Do I tell him to take extra precautions...so he's not perceived as a threat."  My son is 6 and yes, I have had those thoughts.  He is 6!

Being Black in America is exhausting.  Being Black in America is traumatizing.

Finally, imagine going to work and no one even addresses it.  Everyone sits in silence or hits you with the usual, "how's it going?"  No empathy.  No hugs.  No "I'm sorry."  No words.  Nothing.  Your meetings go on as usual.  The tasks and outcomes are still required.  Silence from your colleagues.  Silence from your leaders.

Being Black in America is exhausting.  Being Black in America is traumatizing.

When LGBTQI Communities are attacked, we support them.  When laws changes and immigrant communities are plagued, we speak up.  When women come together to fight inequality and assault against our gender, we rally.  When Black communities suffer...silence.

Being Black in America is exhausting.  Being Black in America is traumatizing.


I hope that this blog post can help you have courageous conversations in the workplace. They are much needed and long overdue.


Keep flexing your courage muscle,


Elizabeth Go

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