What Makes a Black Woman Angry at Work

Campaigns against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and news host Rhonda Lee undermined their good intentions.

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That Rice can be discouraged from pursuing the position -- a job for which she perhaps has prepared for some of her adult life -- is troubling. In a similar way, there's Lee's reality -- a black woman who got fired from a job because, God forbid, she stood up for herself. Even though Lee used a friendly tone and took the road less traveled by many Americans -- a respectful response -- she has been punished and portrayed as an angry black woman. When it came to Rice, she faced harsh assessments about her competency and ultimately had to stand down.

Silencing black women in the workplace, it seems, is as American as apple pie. Memo to America: That's the real reason black women can seem angry.

Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., is editor-at-large for The Root. She is also editor-in-chief of the Burton Wire, a blog dedicated to world news related to the African Diaspora and global culture. Follow her on Twitter.

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Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., is founder and editor-in-chief of the Burton Wire. A media scholar and critic who is an expert on the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality with film, television and new media, Burton is associate professor of communication and media studies at Goucher College in Baltimore. Follow her on Twitter.

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