Do all white men think all Black women are hoochie mama, welfare, child bearing, uneducated b******?
No, I don’t think all white men feel that way about Black women. However, media images and the lack of interracial socializing have led to a situation where the distinct minority of white men can say that they truly know a Black woman. Even fewer can say with conviction that they trust a Black woman in either a business or personal relationship.
My friend, former Rutgers Business School Professor Dr. dt ogilvie, co-authored a phenomenal paper about African American Women Executives (AAWE). Her paper documents how AAWE leadership traits are very different from white women’s. They’re actually similar to white male leadership traits. This creates a conflict with many white men, especially those from my generation (age 47) or older. It comes from a mix of racial AND gender stereotyping. You’ll hear that expressed in terms like “You’re so articulate” or “Can you believe that this ‘little lady’ can do (insert normal business function here).”
Ignorance and confusion are hardly conducive to a good relationship. The good news is that there are a growing number of white men who know, trust and rely on their black women colleagues. By the way: If you are unsure of what a “hoochie mama” is, I recommend www.urbandictionary.com. It is a useful tool, especially for white men.
Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.