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There is a storyline in season two of the HBO series Insecure where Issa’s ex-boyfriend, Lawrence, leaves his entrepreneurial struggle behind to grow his career at a corporate technology company. In the ensuing scenes, director Melina Matsoukas makes it clear that Lawrence is “the only Black person in the room.”
It’s a compelling narrative because being “the only Black person in the room” is a nuanced experience for Black people working in a corporate environment. Even if you’ve never seen the show, Lawrence’s consciousness of being the only Black person at work is perhaps something you’ve experienced in your career. I know I have.
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