Just in time for Black History Month, I recount one of my favorite microaggressions

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Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

There are so many microaggressions and racist experiences in the life of a Black person that it’s hard to choose just one. And while I’ve never been called the N-word (to my face), one thing that has always felt akin to the slur is that moment when your very existence in a space shifts the behavior or vibe of people (White people) around you. There are the many times I showed up for job interviews and was left sitting in the lobby while confused White people peeked their heads out to search for who they assumed would be “Tracey Ford.”…


But their contributions are not taught in history books

In news that will likely not surprise you, a lot of Black history has been suppressed in an attempt to erase the contributions made by Black folk in America — like the wealth accumulated by Black Californians during the Gold Rush era — as well as to ignore many atrocities (read up on the Red Summer).

“The history of California is filled with Blackness. Melanin is woven into the state’s fabric, from the Black founding families of Los Angeles to the buffalo soldiers who patrolled the state’s frontier,” Nikki Brueggeman writes for The Bold Italic. …


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Hey Momentum readers,

2021 is finally here and boy what a doozy it has been. Just six days in we experienced one of the most insane moments of our young country’s history (if you ignore the actual beginning of this country’s history which for me will always be its biggest stain). For many, last week’s attack on the Capitol comes as…


The $22.5 million settlement is a stark contrast from how two Black employees were treated when they spoke out

In what was likely seen as a nice step forward for women fighting gender discrimination in the workplace, particularly at the often all-male C-suite level, former Pinterest chief operating officer Françoise Brougher received a $22.5 million settlement, the largest of its kind to date. Unfortunately, the settlement highlights the difference between how Black and White women are received when raising issues of discrimination and inequality in the workplace.

Two months before Brougher, a White woman, filed her suit, two Black women, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, came out on social media with their claims of racial and gender discrimination…


Steven John Irby’s ‘41 to ’99: A Photo Essay’ sets the stage for Ava DuVernay’s LEAP

Before George Floyd and the many others we marched for this year, there was Amadou Diallo, who was shot 19 times in the doorway of his Bronx, New York, apartment by plainclothed officers 21 years ago. The four officers involved were acquitted. One of them, officer Kenneth Boss, was eventually promoted.

Photographer Steven John Irby’s latest project, 41 to ’99: A Photo Essay, centers Diallo’s murder — the tragic killing of an unarmed Black man by police. The officers fired 41 bullets at Diallo, who they mistook for a rape suspect and claimed was reaching for a gun. …


Last month, a page in a nursing textbook showed how some medical professionals are being encouraged to treat patients based on racial stereotypes that presume that people of different backgrounds have different responses to pain. According to a piece by Project HBE, the intention behind the image featured in the textbook was part of a new method where schools have “adopted a systematic approach to teach their students how to treat those from different backgrounds.” Intention aside, the insert is ripe for misinterpretation and promotes racial stereotypes that place patients at harm.

“Cultural sensitivity is like ordering a non-meat dish…


Akilah Cadet is working to dismantle White supremacy one corporation at a time

Akilah Cadet, who has proudly dubbed herself “the Olivia Pope of diversity,” has been in high demand after a summer of reckoning for many companies that realize now is a great time to ensure they have strategies in place to create a more diverse environment and support their BIPOC employees. Cadet, through her company Change Cadet, sees her work — dismantling White supremacy for Fortune 500 companies, global brands, and nonprofits — as a tall but necessary task that helps companies take a proactive versus reactive approach.

“Due to the murder of George Floyd and other Black people killed by…


Up to Speed is a biweekly newsletter brought to you by Momentum, a Medium blog dedicated to the fight against anti-Black racism. Did a friend forward this your way? Sign up here so you don’t miss the next one.

Hey Momentum readers,

Like so many other events this year, this holiday season has been marred by Covid-19 but we hope as you polish off the rest of those leftovers you don’t forget that some traditions can remain the same and are good for the soul. Today is Cyber Monday and tomorrow Giving Tuesday, and here at Momentum we whipped up…


Professor Cassi Pittman Claytor’s ongoing study hopes to ensure shoppers can have a less biased experience

This year’s holiday shopping season will surely be different due to Covid-19 and the impact it’s had on a slew of people, both financially — many Americans are still struggling and out of work — and for others in their willingness (or unwillingness) to head out to stores when we’re all supposed to be avoiding crowds. For some, this new normal will potentially ease the stress and anxiety of shopping while Black. …


The phrase has seeped into the ‘nation’s rhetorical bloodstream’ as a clearer way to describe many aspects of American life

In a recent New York Times piece, writer Michael Powell examines how the phrase “white supremacy” went from being reserved for overt racism — think the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis — to being an “accurate way to describe today’s racial realities.” There’s even evidence that the phrase has seen a resurgence with the Times has used the term 700 times in 2020 alone. That’s close to 10x more than it was used by the paper a mere decade ago.

“In a time of plague and protest, two words — ‘white supremacy’ — have poured into the rhetorical bloodstream with…

Tracey Ford

Director of Publisher Growth @Medium

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