Some 55 years ago in Memphis, Tennessee, two black sanitation workers—Echol Cole and Robert Walker, perished when they were crushed by a malfunction in the truck they were working on. One week, later, the city remained totally silent, leading to an historic strike by 1,300 black workers from the public works department. The workers demanded better wages and improved workplace safety. It’s incredible to think that in 2023, many African-American employees are still facing discrimination in the form of job steering—a process in which black workers are assigned to the most dangerous, unpleasant jobs.
The Rate of Workplace Fatalities for Black Americans Reaches a New High
Statistics published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that in 2021, 5,190 American workers died from work injuries. This was up by almost 9% from 2020, when many employees became jobless or worked from home owing to the pandemic. Of the 5,190 workers who perished, 653 were African-Americans. This represents an increase of 20.7% from 2020. The workplace fatality rate for black Americans is 4 per 100,000 workers. This is higher than the national rate. What’s more, African-Americans now represent 12.6% of all work-related fatal injuries. It is the highest percentage on the books since workplace fatality statistics have been collected.
What Are the Most Dangerous Jobs in the US?
Some of the riskiest occupations in the nation are not those you would expect. They include logger and tree cutters, fishers, roofers, miners, construction workers, drivers, refuse collectors, and electrical power line installers. Many black Americans are employed in industries such as construction and warehousing. For instance, transportation incidents are the highest cause of deaths for African-American workers. The second most significant cause of fatalities in this group is violence by persons or animals. Almost 25% of all workplace fatalities faced by African-Americans are the result of violence, compared to only 14.7% for all workers.
Taking Matters to The Stakeholders
The Occupational Safety and Health Administrated (OSHA) is currently collaborating with black-led union groups and work centers, to understand how they can provide better resources, give workers the tools they need, and provide the kind of training that will ensure equitable enforcement of anti-discrimination rules and regulations. The government needs to step in to ensure that job steering is strictly prohibited, imposing stiff fines on companies that breach the law.
Strategies for Employers to Embrace
There is also plenty that individual employers can do to lower the number of injuries and fatalities among black workers. It all starts by reaching out to black employees to show an authentic interest in their worries, concerns, and safety challenges. Managers should humbly let employees know that they are valued and appreciated, and that they always have a safe place to talk about their worries. They should additionally encourage the formation of small support groups, where workers can discuss their experiences or listen to others. Ideally, these meetings should be attended by mangers, so they can quickly implement changes that can make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of their workers. It goes without saying that companies should issue a formal statement on their zero level of tolerance for racial injustice and inequality. If companies build a reputation for having a sound and strong diversity and inclusion policy, they are far more likely to attract talented candidates who know they will not be subject to racial hostility or discrimination. Finally, company roles, goals, and procedures should be absolutely clear. Procedural rules should include precise information on how jobs are assigned and rotated, so that job steering can be completely avoided. The assignment of risky jobs should not be undertaken on a subjective basis.
The battle against job steering among African-American workers is far from over. The alarming rise in workplace fatalities among black workers indicates that many are still being assigned unsafe or risky tasks. Stakeholders, employers, and the government must collaborate to eradicate this discriminatory practice. Employers can also play a crucial role by fostering a supportive environment, encouraging open communication, and implementing clear procedures that prevent discrimination. By standing against racial injustice and inequality, companies can attract diverse talent and create a safer workplace for all.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.