Racism has been persistent problem in the United States throughout its history. Although some gains have been made in the more recent past, there is still considerable racial inequality that permeates society as well as the organizations within it. This special issue focuses on anti-Black racism in the U.S.
Anti-Black racism extends to all facets of life, including the workplace. Black individuals have historically experienced and continue to experience workplace discrimination (Avery, Volpone, & Holmes, 2018). Race-based discrimination occurs throughout the employment process, including in selection (Pager, 2003), negotiations (Hernandez, Avery, Volpone, & Kaiser, 2019), leadership (Rosette, Leonardelli, & Phillips, 2008), and retention (Couch & Farley, 2010). Additionally, many organizations have adopted color-blind policies, that ignore the deep-rooted consequences of systemic racism that arise outside of the context of compliance and lead to negative consequences in many organizational contexts (Plaut, Thomas, Hurd, & Romano, 2018). Systemic anti-Black racism extends to the academy, with just six percent of faculty members in the U.S. being Black (Pew Research Center, 2019). Racism is also present in our science, as the people who are studied in organizational science in the U.S. are predominately White, and many of the publications in psychological science that highlight race have been written by White authors and edited by White editors (Roberts, Bareket-Shavit, Dollins, Goldie, & Mortenson, 2020).
Our goal in this issue is to 1) highlight the history and current state of anti-Black racism in general organizational settings as well as in the specific field of organizational psychology (and related fields—e.g., management) and 2) to showcase empirical and conceptual work that provides evidence of the manifestation and effects of anti-Black racism, responses to anti-Black racism, and solutions to it.
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