Black women: Each others worst enemy

Black women are displaying hatred towards one another in the workplace. Many of them hope to advance in the corporate world by working against other black women.

We want to be successful, but we tend to bash each other in order to get to the top. An article in the March 2005 issue of Essence magazine opened my eyes to something that I had never realized.

Audrey Edwards wrote the article titled “The New Office Politics.” It talks on the issues that black women have with each other in the workplace.

With a race that is as strong as ours, why must there be hatred? Black women are turning their backs on one another every day, not only in the workplace but also in life.

We, as a race, should come together, learn how to stop working against each other and provide motivation for one another.

Where does hatred amongst black women originate? Are black women born with hatred, or is it something that is developed along the way?

Black women have a tendency to compete with each other. They compete when it comes to looks, education, men and even jobs.

Women are emotional human beings. Are those the same emotions that trigger black women to act the way that they do toward one another?

Joy Degruy-Leary, an assistant professor of social work at Portland State University in Portland, Ore., who was interviewed for the Essence article, explained that black women are threatened by each other.

In the article Leary said, “There’s this feeling that there can only be one or two of us in these corporate positions, so we’re not collectively unified. As a black woman, you always have the fear that you can be replaced by another Black woman, and the other woman may have better skills or a better education.”

Unlike whites, it is extremely difficult for blacks to be friends, and help each other at work. The article also said that it’s “black people who have a problem with nepotism in the workplace. Whites don’t. We’re so afraid of losing these positions that we operate from a place of fear and not a place of power.”

The worst part of it is that this seems to come natural to black women. One thing that I have noticed among other ethnic groups is the separation of business and pleasure. We as a race take business personal.

We find it difficult when it comes to balancing and distinguishing the difference between business and pleasure.

In pursuit of diminishing the amount of hatred in the workplace, black women should take heed from the actions of their counterparts when it comes to achieving success.

As black women, there are two things that separate them from others in the workplace. It is up to the individual to take those two things, and let them work for or against them.

The two things consist of being black and being a female. Being both black and a female can work as an asset or become a downfall. Learning to work with your assets can make any situation a success.

Hatred in the workplace is one of the reasons why some black women are becoming entrepreneurs. They are finding out that there are other business opportunities that flourish on enhancing, enriching and motivating individuals.

Hatred amongst one another is an important issue, and it should be taken very serious.

Promoting success and encouraging each other can be the first steps toward resolving hatred among black women in the workplace.

Ashley Felder is a freshman public relations student from Fort Lauderdale. She can be reached at