Discrimination In Work Place: African American Men Experiences

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Discrimination in Work Place: African American Men Experiences

Discrimination in Workplace: African American Men Experiences

Thesis statement

Despite laws against racial discriminatory practices in the workplace, African Americans still encounter a series of unique problems from individual actions and organizational policies and practices. This article gives a brief overview of some of the major sources of discrimination affecting African Americans. It also discusses Affirmative Action controversy, racism and workplace discrimination as human rights violations of African Americans. Government and organizations' roles and strategies against discriminatory practices in the workplace are addressed.


The workplace increasingly is more diverse than ever before. For decades African Americans, women, and many minorities were excluded from participating in most of the desirable jobs and institutions. Even when declared unconstitutional, the discrimination against minority groups often persisted (Beauchamp & Bowie, 1993). Although some work organizations are making progress in their efforts to combat discrimination, African Americans particularly still face a series of unique problems imposed on them through the complex interactions of racially motivated negative attitudes and actions of individual and organizational policies and practices (Chima, 1999; Stromen & Seltzer, 1991) not encountered by Caucasians. Some of the major problems African Americans face include: employment process biases, channeling into "minority" positions, lack of access to network and mentors, promotion and advancement difficulties, and emotional and psychological maltreatment (Queralt, 1996). North America's history of discrimination against African Americans suggests that justice demands effective policies to protect them from human rights abuses. With discrimination and inequities continuing in work organizations, a reality of economic, political, and social constraints persist in perpetuating a system of injustice and societal stratification characterized by imbalances of power and resources. There is a need to further explore and understand the experiences of African Americans in the workplace. This article is intended as an overview of major workplace problems of African Americans that must be addressed in any effort to achieve an inclusive and diverse workplace. This article will address (a) individual, organizational, and structural sources of discrimination against African Americans in the workplace; (b) the Affirmative Action controversy, racism and workplace discrimination, and violations of the human rights of African Americans; and (c) government and organizations' roles and strategies in response to discriminatory practices in the workplace.

Workplace Discrimination And African Americans

Although awareness of discriminatory behaviors in the workplace is increasing, African Americans still face unique problems in dealing with oppressive attitudes, policies, and culturally insensitive practices. Unique sources of discrimination presenting African Americans with stress not encountered by Caucasians in the workplace include individual, organization, and structural discrimination (Stromen & Seltzer, 1991; U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981). These will be explained in the following sections.

Individual Sources of Discrimination

Individual discriminatory conduct and deliberately discriminatory actions by consciously prejudiced individuals often are hidden and appear unintentional in the workplace (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1981). For example, personnel officers whose stereotyped beliefs about African Americans contribute to their hiring African Americans for low-level and low-paying jobs exclusively, ignoring their potential experience or qualifications for higher level ...
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