About Those Black Names

One of the bittersweet legacies of slavery in the black community is the giving of names to children. Social psychologists believe it started as a way to at least assert some control over slaves lives in a era when slaves didn’t normally have last names. A gifting of a small “uniqueness”, in a world where black people were seen as chattel.

Along the way, black mothers have created a number of distinct, and sometimes unique “black” names.

Is Your Name Limiting Your Career?

Is Your Name Limiting Your Career?

Folks my age remember way too much employment discrimination during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s to feel quite comfortable with the new job hunting techniques such as visual resumes and social networking. Potential employers, through medical databases, background checks, and credit bureaus have way too much power and ability to potentially discriminate as it is.

The prospect of giving them even more information opens the door  to some truly frightening abuses.

Youth unemployment today is at it’s highest level since the Great Depression, 52%. Unemployment in some cities is pushing 20%. White Collar unemployment, for people with College Degrees and demonstrated skills is over 7%.

Many companies now use search engines and sophisticated software to parse through potential candidates. The simplest of these programs search for “keywords” such as accreditations sponsored by outside companies or organizations. These might include for instance a network certification for someone looking for an IT job or a finance certification from someone looking for a job in the financial services industry. The negative trade off of this is that these tools discount real on-the-job experience in favor of certifications. But these are gatekeeper hurdles faced by all job seekers. There are “special” hurdles for black job seekers…

Hat Tip to The Grio on this one – Continue reading

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