The recent events involving black women currently and formerly at Okay Africa and Essence Magazine has stirred up so many conversations over the weekend and thoughts within myself.
Like most, I considered OkayAfrica the esteemed media platform that helped transition African music & Afrobeats from continental treasures to global phenomenon. I considered their 100 Women Campaign more important than any Forbes list, as it featured women who looked like me and were doing amazing things within their communities.
However the unmasking of unfair practices, abuse, and unethical actions all at the helm of a black man along with the discovery that OkayAfrica is not black owned has turned this once beautiful reflection of black art to a disturbing Picasso.
The outpouring of love and support for these women has been amazing especially from the men who have come forward as allies.
Nonetheless, the continued gender bias and discrimination towards women in the workplace and other fields is a reminder that𝘞𝘌 need to rally together and stand up for each other. We can not afford to wait for men to “lead the way” in the fight against inequity, sexual harassment, abuse, gaslighting, and other atrocities.
So I asked readers on Instagram:
* How do we show up for ourselves and other women?
*How do we prevent black women from being abused financially, professionally, and emotionally at their place of work?
*what does it means when a black institution uses #blackgirlmagic to make themselves look good but doesn’t protect the black girls in the building?
*How can we ensure that the table supposedly built for us will actually be for us?
Here are some suggestions readers gave on how to stand up for yourself and others at your place of employment.
➕Prioritize human capital over financial gain. Losing your job or financial worry should not be the reason you allow yourself to be abused or watch someone else suffer.
➕ Don’t continue to stay in a defamatory environment under the guise of “experience”. The compromising of your sanity and emotional health may not be worth it.
➕ When exposing a workplace, employees should unify so one person does not take the fall. This support may prevent an individual from becoming an outcast while helping others.
➕ Call out a vilifying/inappropriate action as soon as you see it and take hold your job accountable for addressing it. You may be preventing someone else from suffering in the future.
➕ Women with entrepreneurial spirits should attempt to create tables for us, rather than hoping we get a seat on someone else’s (possibly shaky) table.
➕ Document EVERYTHING you see and hear just in case you are accused of fabrication.
➕ We as women should use our influence within our communities and social media to get conversations on inequality started. From these conversations, plans can be put in place that can spark change in the future.
Let us continue to support the former women at OkayAfrica and Essence Magazine who have brought to light an issue we all need to stand against. #itsneverokay