Tribal Wars in the Workplace: How Black Culture Plays Out In Corporate America

- By Bossip Staff Categories: News, The Atlanta Post

Passed over for a seemingly well-deserved promotion? Fade into the background in the boardroom? The two cultural anthropologists and authors of the book Corporate Tribalism analyze why African-Americans have a more difficult time in the corporate environment than others. The authors argue that in some cases it has less to do with the quality of work or ideas, but more to do with the quantity of cultural differences that can keep some ethnic groups from relating to those in the mainstream.

Read The Rest at The Atlanta Post


  • Educated Goon

    I hate those stock photos… Racist. Black man is in the background you can barely see him. Then a woman who white people wouldn’t even know she was black is in the front.

    • aqueenwaits

      @ Educated Goon

      Believe me, the semantics in that photo screams that they are still trying to pit the black man against the black woman as it pertains to the breadwinner in the family now. It’s like “yeah nicca we’ll put you in the picture, but just know we’re gonna make sure that you know that we’ll give her the break first AND this very confusion is what’s putting division between the black man and woman at home arguing about who makes more money…..and I don’t need you, I just need batteries…. Ya know what I’m sayin?

    • Robert

      Whites do this on purpose because they see black women as nonthreatening and culturally oblivious. White males have always had a problem with black men in the for front. We have seen pictures like this for years, many whites hate seeing a strong black male in a picture that conjures power and strength. I have even heard white males say that the media pushes the image of black men, as if the media is positive with the black male image. I can tell you numerous problems I have at my current place of work. Those white boys get promotions and dont even know how to properly type a letter. Heck some idiot told my father he was to qualified for a job, code words.

    • Robert

      err meant forefront

  • samech

    It does have to do with mainstream. True. I think women tend to have an easier time though.

  • Educated Goon

    White man are naturally intimidated by black men anyway. That includes physically, mentally, and ever they feel threatened when they bring their wives around us because they know how white women feel about black men deep down inside. That’s why black men (and women) should stop trying to fit in to “corporate culture” and create our own corporate culture. What excuse do we have? Foreigners from Bangladesh come to America with only $20 dollars and have a business in less than 16 months. So black people we have no excuses. I have no desires for a white man being my boss. He is only going to advance the black women anyway…. We all know them crackers would rather have them black bootys walking around the office than a 6-foot tall black man who is a threat to his position and his woman. A black woman is never a threat to anyone’s position, that is why they advance so quickly in corporate America.

  • Educated Goon

    ^^ I made a few typos… but I’m in a rush! Yall get the point!

    • CAT EYES

      Don’t worry about the typos,your point was well made and its truth.Thats why I made sure to help my husband start his own businesses because black men must stop believing that they will ever advance in the corporate world that is not their own.The sad truth though is that many black men just don’t have enough belief in themselves to make it happen,or many are just not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to stand up and make a difference.

    • aqueenwaits

      @Educated Goon

      You’re 100% right! And believe me, even sistas have the same issues with the salted and unsalted crackers. However, these same brothas who can’t get a break from the man, will hop up and get a becky just to try and close the deal at times. Get back to the sistas and know that we can be a powerful couple together.

  • understandingoverignorance

    Those two anthropologist are very much correct in there observation the human animal is a very social one and due to our cultural difference amongst the different races promotion of races be it blacks in a white company or whites in a black company will often times have to do with our cultural or racial background

    Its not racist its just human nature.

  • shalonndramarie

    I may not work in the Corporate position but I feel the prejudice at the level of professionalism I work in. I have to deal with other race’s talking in their native tongue’s all the time. They have it real bad and it really disturbs me because it makes me feel self concious because I feel why you can’t say it in english?I am a co-worker would you do that if the supervisor was around? Then they feel intimadated because I don’t have all those issues with immagration against me, and I just don’tlike it. So yes I feel racism is still very prominate in the workforce on any level.All I know is that I will do all that I can to never give them an excuse to get rid of me over their hate.

  • Shortcake

    Im in corporate america and I have had no problems its cut throat and competitive but that has nothing to do with race I have seen whites in corporate america stab each other in the back as well its just a race in shark infested waters that you either learn how to swim in or get eaten up by jaws.

  • peter illyich

    @educated goon

    Let me start with the first question you posed. You wanna know if the Bangladeshi can come and succeed with only 20 bucks, why not us ? Let me tell you why not you. You are one of those bruthas that intimidates other men ( so you say ). You are one of those bruthas who cant take constructive criticism. You are one of those bruthas who has anger management problems. See you got a lot of issues . The Bangladeshi puts in 16 hours a day to succeed. He puts his kids through college. He stays with his wife . You on the other hand want everything given to you. You dont want to put the hours in to succeed but by god you get angry when you see others that do.
    This is the underlying message I get from your posts. I could be wrong.

  • 1king

    @Peter illyich

    I think you are wrong. His comments said nothing about being given anything but respect as a person. Just by your brut has comment let’s me everyone know that you are one of those people that cater to the white establishment. You believe everything you see and hear on tv and the radio. So that makes you a robot programed to do what they tell you to. That the underlying message i get from your post. When your black in America the chips are stacked against you because the white man fears you physically and mentally. There are many black men that take care of their families but the white oppressors only showcase the negative in abundance to get weak minded people like you to believe thats what black people are about.

  • peter illyich


    You are so right about Jesus and the white conversion. So my question to you is : why the hell do you and the other millions of negroes go every Sunday to worship a religion that was forced onto your ancestors by the tip of a sword. Why believe in Christianity when all it does is serve as a bedrock for white supremacy ?

  • peter illyich


    You use several key words that I find interesting. The old one “respect” comes up. If you show respect to people they will , in most cases return it. If you walk around demanding respect without offering it , well you gets what you gets.
    You continue with the word “cater”. You are one of those people that wont cater to others. Too demeaning for the big , powerful black man. To cater to someone is a POSITIVE. Try and remember that. It doesnt make you an uncle tom or anything.
    Who does the programming. I tell you who does. The ignorant program the ignorant to stay ignorant.
    The only “oppressors” are people who do not believe in themselves. People without ambition and hope.
    The only thing I agree with you on is the chips being stacked against us. Fight to overcome. Be better than the next man.

  • unstoppable

    A five percenter taught me this, “PERSISTENCE OUTWEIGHS RESISTANCE DEPENDING ON THE FORCE”. No one (not even the oppressor) can stop you if you’re truly determined. Pick your title: PREDATOR or PREY.

  • peter illyich


    I hear you about the interview thing. I still maintain that you have to remain positive and look for the good in people. If you do that people can see it and even sometimes overcome their own prejudices. Some might say Im naive but its better than the alternative.

  • 1king

    I jus want people to know what we are up against. They playin for keeps. The ones that do overcome the own prejudice are still out number by the ones that have the guns. They are goin for absolute power and that it’s something we must face head on and we can’t afford to look the other way cause that’s how we got here. I’m glad you remain positive we jus need a rebirth of black pride and love for one another. Peace to you.

blog comments powered by Disqus