Black employees face a host of subtle verbal, behavioral and environmental slights related to their physical appearance, work ethic, integrity and more, causing job dissatisfaction and burnout, according to a new study from Rice University.
Although research on microaggressions (defined as commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental slights) has gained popularity in recent years, King said work that specifically focuses on anti-Black microaggressions—especially in the workplace—is still limited.
“This lack of knowledge is a real problem,” King said. “Discrimination encountered in the workplace is more complicated and difficult to manage than in other scenarios. Outside of work, an individual can remove themself from a setting or say something, but at work, the same individual may be afraid to speak up because of fear of retaliation, loss of a job, etc.”
King and Fattoracci documented three common types of workplace microaggressions toward Black employees. The first was expression of anti-Black stereotypes, including negative assumptions