Politically-charged debates are often passionate, yet at times cloud people’s abilities to agree how and when to right a true wrong. While Crying “wolf,” buzzwords and misinformation have become the norm, they minimized those who are actually suffering or lost in the proverbial cracks. Let’s take the story in “Hush Money,” by my guest Jacqui Abrams, a tale based on a true story of racism in the workplace. Due to many factors – not the least of which is fear of losing job and other people lying about or minimizing such at their own workplaces — racial preferences and racism in companies and other work environments goes unreported or ignored. Through the eyes of the characters in her book – -HUSH MONEY — , Jacquie relays an actually true story of a woman who called this out, won her argument, changed things and kept her job. We at Book Spectrum do not run with the “Woke” crowd, but we are interested in treating everyone with the respect they deserve and calling out wrongdoing when we see it. The story in Jacquie’s Hush Money is rarely told and needs to be heard.
Hush Money tells a compelling and cautionary tale that is all too familiar to Black people across the globe about the rigors of working in a large, highly bureaucratic organization and dealing with covert and overt racism. Levels and types of discrimination are chronicled in the five-year journey of Ebony Ardoin, an ambitious, young, Black woman in search of a fulfilling and rewarding career path that allows her to live the American Dream.
The twisting arcs of Ebony’s story reveal layers of emotional complexity and racial trauma as each new promotion invites praise, jealous rancor, and outright loathing. Organizational politics and protecting turf go hand in hand with discrimination, retaliation, intimidation, and racial hatred expressed in a variety of ways.
Hush Money: How One Woman Proved Systemic Racism in her Workplace and Kept Her Job, by Jacquie Abram, has been selected by the Unity and Equality Alliance, located in Canada, as their next book to read. While the organization seeks to help people of color with issues locally, in Brockville, Ontario, they also see the big picture by pushing their messages far and wide. Abram’s fictional story, inspired by true events, lays bare the struggles against racism many Black and Brown people experience in the U.S. and across the globe.