American, Black, and Unemployed – The Guardian’s Panel, and Responses
The U.K. based publication The Guardian had a novel idea, instead of reporting about black unemployment, the newspaper is going directly to the source , and inviting African Americans to discuss their frustrations as part of a panel.
Unemployment in the African American community is nearly double that of the white community, and The Guardian ‘s panel seeks to peel back the layers and get to the heart of the issue, and is asking for black participants who are willing to share their experiences while looking for work. Among other questions, the publication wants to know how race impacts black people who are unemployed. How do you deal with it? Who supports you in your quest for work?
In addition to the panel, The Guardian published comments from black readers. Here is a portion of the comment by Lorrie Brown, which was poignant:
One department director told me he would not hire me because he thought I could not handle the position, not that I was not qualified or willing and another hiring manager told me that even though I spoke Spanish conversationally, passed the language test and could learn that she would only hire fluently Spanish speaking candidates, another employer said I may not be a good “personality fit”.
The list goes on… we live in an ever changing economy that is turning into a global economy. This makes the job market extremely competitive to the point that many times there are over 200 applicants for only one position and the employers use hiring strategies to weed out people based upon factors that have nothing to do with whether or not they can perform the job, such as providing a typing certificate in order to gain entry into examination or requiring knowledge of work for a “trainee” position.
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