The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Racism in names keeps black people from jobs

Jan 6, 2003

Two professors from Boston and Chicago recently carried out an interesting experiment. They mailed out 5,000 resumes in response to job offers appearing in newspaper ads. The same resumes were sent to various employers, but carrying different names – half typical of black names, half typical of white. For example, black women's names included LaToya, Tanisha, Lakisha and Tamika, while typical white women's names were Kristen, Carrie, Laurie and Meredith. It turned out that resumes with typically white names received twice as many offers to come in for an interview as did the very same resumes with black names attached.

We often hear reactionaries assert, "black people are always complaining about what happened under slavery, which has been over for 140 years." Well, people have a right to complain – and, more important – to put up a fight, when everything that happens shows that racism is alive and still kicking.