A couple of years ago, Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D. wrote a great book titled Shifting – The Double Lives of Black Women. Synopsis: Shifting reveals that a large number of African American women feel pressure to compromise their true selves as they navigate America’s racial and gender bigotry. Black women “shift.” They change the expectations they have for themselves. Or they alter their outer appearance. They modify their speech. They shift ‘white’ as they head to work in the morning and ‘black’ as they come back home each night. They shift inward, internalizing the searing pain of the negative stereotypes that they encounter daily. And sometimes they shift by fighting back.
The majority of us shift back and forth at our jobs daily, especially for sisters in corporate America. But, do you think it’s fair that we have to conform in order to fit in with our non-black counterparts or does it even matter – can we just go and be ourselves? And who even says that we have to conform – is it just something we think we have to do?