After a recent change in hairstyle, 29-year-old Zora Little, the only black woman in her office, has become unrecognizable to her white coworkers.
“I’ve never seen that woman in my life,” said Chase Henley, who has worked with Zora for four years. “I mean, I guess she looks a little bit like that lady in marketing, but I don’t wanna seem racist for saying that all black people look the same.”
Zora, whose hairstyle went from her natural, 3C curls to her natural 3C curls but pulled back into a bun, was forced to spend her workday reintroducing herself to the coworkers she interacts with daily.
“My boss didn’t tell us that we were hiring a new marketing manager,” said Petra DuBois, who has been in meetings with Zora three times this week. “Did they fire Nora?”
“It’s honestly pretty messed up if they just replaced her with another black woman,” she added.
Zora is justifiably confused.
“I really don’t understand what’s happening,” she said. “Like, it’s not like I even cut or colored my hair. Gina alternates between wearing her hair up and down, Kelly-Ann is all of a sudden platinum blonde, and no one has any issue remembering who they are. It’s like they have no other black people in their lives for reference.”
But her coworkers are still not getting it.
“I haven’t seen Cora since Monday end of day,” said Tina Lang, who is frequently on the same bus to work and in the cafeteria at the same time as Zora. “I’m honestly starting to worry, she never misses work.”
“Maybe this new hire has something to do with it,” Tina added. “Not that I think she’s suspicious. I’m not, like, racist or anything.”
“I’m gonna have to fully reapply for this position if I ever get a blowout,” Zora added.