You can’t understand what it’s like for someone else until you’ve had to put on their shoes.

it’s easy to judge until we have been in the same situation as another.
some of us beez like:

“I see what Jamari was talking about now.”

“I see what Mo’Nique was talking about now.”

as tami roman in the bonnet chronicles would say:
“get into it.”
i didn’t understand mo’nique a few years ago when she was going off.
she had all the smoke for lee daniels,
and tyler perry.
they are three of the most powerful black folks in the industry.
“she should have played the game” is one thing i use to say.
“she is talking too much” was another.
it wasn’t until i had a similar experience a year later…

I was told to play the game in a stressful position at a black company.

keywords: black company.
i found those words so hurtful because i was busting my ass to get hired.
i was a temp to hire and was being manipulated and gaslit.
i’m complaining in a group chat with folks at the job i thought were friends.
my anxiety was through the roof and dropped so much weight.
don’t even GET me started on the abuse they were going through too.

The black people in power,
the ones I served every day while dealing with bullshit,
hung me out to dry.
None of them showed up at my huge going away.
One woman I had so much respect for told me i should have catered more.
The president,
with who I was pitching ideas to make the company better for the employees,
didn’t even reach out after I sent an email to him.
The same one who was supposed to help me with my career and finding a black therapist at the time.

I played the game by doing my job and guess what?
I got let go at 7 pm at night on a Thursday at a Bad Boys 3 event.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are in front of me,
but I can’t even enjoy it cause I was being fired.

that situation really messed me up.
the end result has me so weary of working in corporate again,
especially at a black company.
it really wasn’t fair and i didn’t deserve that shit at all.
i feel like we are always telling black people to “play the game”.
we shouldn’t speak about our hurts and stress for the “goal”.
it gives field niggas in a barn after a long day of picking cotton.
everyone is bidding to get in the house.
“get into it”.

we don’t tell black people in power to be and do better.
we don’t hold them accountable when they treat others unfairly.
we seem to turn the other cheek to those who terrorize others.
some black people can be your own worst enemy.
some of them in power can be worse than the white folks in power

i’m not a black woman but i am still black with my own experience.
so i get why mo’nique was hurt in her experience.
all she wants to be is heard.
some black folks are satisfied with not stepping on toes.
some black folks are content with being someone’s bitch.
that’s perfectly fine.
it’s not our experience to judge until we have experienced it.
speaking up can help others find their voices too.

Sidebar: everyone telling you “play the game” but what’s the prize?
High blood pressure?
Burn out?
White approval?

Getting to a level where you have to backstab and throw people under the bus?
Being lonely at the top with no one to trust?

Author: jamari fox

the fox invited to the blogging table.


  1. That “play the game” mindset comes from the post Civil Rights generation who were the first to be in white spaces and chose that as their way to move up in racist places.

    So when they got to their ceiling, they think those that come after have to take the same crap they did, and they are happy to serve it to you. They are also obsessed with making you sure you never rise past them in the ranks. Most will never help you move up in your career unless you have hitched yourself to their success and they can take credit for you work.

    Not everyone is bad, however. Remember it was a Black man, Will Packer with his production company that casted Mo’Nique in Almost Christmas and brought her out of being blacklisted.

    Keep your head up, Jamari.

    1. ^thank you for this a3x.
      your words were powerful and i’m glad to sympathized.
      usually some black folks are really dismissive when you speak about how you were treated.
      i’m glad you had empathy and brought a word with you.

  2. I disagree. Lee Daniels was from all appearances, a good friend to her. She was great in his movies. All she had to do was show up on time at the film festival and make deals for her next pictures. She let HIM down. She killed her own career for reasons only she AND her husband know.

    1. ^ i will say the way she went about it wasn’t good at times.
      there is no reason to record tyler perry and play that on air.
      that was a violating of his privacy.
      her husband having a say wasn’t needed as well.
      he is very much background and should stay that way.

      her other experiences are hers to speak about.
      if she is wrong,
      and they feel she is in the wrong,
      they are all free to argue their point against her.

    2. This is the same Lee Daniels that owed Dame Dash $2 million dollars and had several tv shows on air and didn’t pay him. He ain’t shit to put on pedestal

    3. Tyler Perry apologized to her. They wanted her to travel and do promo for Precious without paying her. You’d be horrified if they expected Melissa McCarthy to foot her own expenses. Pipe down.
      Lee is a known industry snake. You’re giving coon in a barrel.

  3. If you heard her Oscar speech. She basically threw her middle to those white peoples that run those studio. Those same people said to her fuck you right back. I’m pretty sure that lee Daniel try to case her in another project of his those told him he’ll no. You can get mad because your mouth got you in trouble. That’s what Monique did.

  4. I can’t speak on Monique’s situation because I was not there and each side has their own version of what went down.
    But to speak on your situation at that job, that is why I don’t tell folks at work my business. If I do, it’s what I WANT them to know.
    Folks will smile in your face and stab you in the back in a hot minute, if they think it will help them get ahead. Sadly, our own folks are the fuckin’ worst!
    I’m pretty good with computers and various programs, and many co-workers will come up to me asking for help to do something. Sometimes I will help and other times, I’ll say I busy. I have one co-worker that’s notorious for ignoring you…until she needs something. Folks like that get no effort or attention from me. When you go into the office environment, you can basically stand back and know who’s who…and how to approach/avoid them. That’s what I do. You could be the VP of the company or department and you will get the same treatment. If you can’t even have the decency to say good morning or hello when you see me, I can’t fuck with you…I don’t care who you are.
    Ass kissing is not in my vocabulary, and I am a STRONG believer in karma, so I try to treat others with respect and decency. However, if you come at me the wrong way…I’m going to let you know. Job be damned, you will not disrespect me. And a lot of folks think that you NEED the job (which you might) so they feel they can say and/or do whatever they want to you. But you NEVER let someone devalue and disrespect you.

  5. A Black recruiter had something like a $150,000 budget. The hiree only asked for like $80,000. Instead of putting them on game, she posted about it online, saying she doesn’t have time to teach and baby employees.

    Guess what the employee’s race was?

    This is why “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” Black people get ignored by me. They gatekeep, gaslight and sabotage to preserve THEIR spot. It keeps things white. When they leave, they suggest someone white.

    Black people have sabotaged me. White people and others have too. But I didn’t see it coming from them so it hurt way more and I was devastated.

    It’s proven that Black people celebrate when a Black public figure is brought down, due to “They weren’t qualified anyway” brainwashing.

    We are way too hard on ourselves and don’t give the same fire to others. We know how hard it us and yet still have the gall to say it’s not about race.

  6. “Play the game” comes from Black people having to do Blackface, because it was the only way to get into acting. So they suffered through it, for the long goal. It’s demeaning and dehumanizing. Constantly downing yourself for a chance.

If you wouldn't say it on live TV with all your family and friends watching, without getting canceled or locked up, don't say it on here. Stay on topic, no SPAM, and keep it respectful. Thanks!

%d bloggers like this: