About

Published in 2014, this BuzzFeed video is part of a group of videos that expose and satirize stereotypes and racial microaggressions, or the everyday, often unintentional, marginalizing interactions racial and ethnic minorities experience in the U.S. This video shows common experiences of Black people in the workplace, featuring Tracy Clayton, Heben Nigatu, Quinta Brunson, and Briana Byrd showing how these interactions play out in everyday interactions. Themes addressed are being frequently confused for the one or two other Black people in the office, people asking to or reaching to touch your hair, people assuming you are the person working on “diversity” or civil rights events, having awkward conversations about meritocracy, affirmative action, or “Black” popular culture, feeling anxiety in case someone is about to say the N word when singing along to a song, or fear of confirming stereotypes and how that affects behavior.

Related BuzzFeed videos include Awkward Moments Only Asians Understand, 11 Awkward Moments Indian-Americans Will Recognize, If Black People Said the Stuff White People Say, If Latinos Said the Stuff White People Say, and If Asians Said the Stuff White People Say. BuzzFeed is an American internet-based news and entertainment company known for producing content that is popular culture/entertainment-oriented and easily sharable and engaged with through social media. While they also produce news articles, most BuzzFeed content is in quick to digest image and graphics-based forms such as lists, quizzes, and short videos.

Discussion

What commonly experienced interactions are the characters acting out and responding to? How might this be different if it were not based in the U.S.?

Does this video effectively challenge or address these kinds of interactions? Does it explain why they are problematic to someone who does not already understand? Why or why not?

Have you ever experienced an interaction in which you realized you were being asked something because of a stereotype about a group you belong to or were perceived as belonging to? What happened? How often does it happen? How did it make you feel? How has it impacted your behavior?

What is the difference between overt acts of racial discrimination and the everyday comments referenced in this clip? How do these experiences affect people over time?