I LIVED IT: I Accidentally Gave my Only Other Black Coworker the White People Smile

I Lived it:

It’s tough being the only Black person in the office. Dealing with people putting their hands in my hair, sitting at holiday parties alone, and having to codeswitch for 40 hours a week was really wearing me down. So, you could imagine my elation when another Black woman joined our company! Unfortunately, I was so excited when I met her that I lost control of my facial expressions and accidentally scrunched my lips together and gave her the white people smile.


Now I’m looking for the nearest hole to crawl into and pass away.


We made eye contact while walking down a hallway and she smiled and said “Hello” like a normal human being, while my face decided that I was going to do an impression of Tom Holland walking by paparazzi.


The silence after she digested my betrayal was deafening, and to make matters worse, it was a really long hallway, so I had to carry the smile with me for another 50 feet.


Also, when it happened, she immediately took her phone out, and I just know she was tweeting something like “not my Black coworker giving me the white people smile” or something humiliating like that.


Afterward, I literally had to go into the bathroom and flash a phone light into my face just in case I was unaware that my body was possessed by the spirit of a 65-year-old white man like in Get Out.



I went home and tried to atone for my sins by reading bell hooks but could not help but to see her face laughing at me in her author’s picture.


If my Black worker is reading this, I’m so sorry, girl! I’ve never done that before, I promise. I think it was a muscle spasm. I’m getting it checked out next week. Let’s just keep this between us! Please be my friend!