S6E9 – Black Workers and Disney’s Exploitation of Labor

In this episode, Jenn and Daren dive deep into the exploitation of Black labor, drawing from their personal experiences working for Disney. They shed light on the harsh realities faced by Disney workers, particularly Black employees, and discuss the broader implications of these labor practices within the context of American capitalism.

The episode begins with Jenn and Daren discussing the recent viral video of Disney characters unionizing and the importance of labor unions in protecting workers’ rights. They then share anecdotes from the time they each spent at Disney, revealing the less-than-magical side of the company including the exploitation of part-time workers, overt racism and anti-Blackness.

In the second segment, Jenn and Daren broaden the conversation to include the systemic issues that Black workers face across various industries. They cite statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Brookings Institute to illustrate the disparities in employment and pay for Black workers, and discuss the additional challenges faced by Black women and men in the workplace.

The episode concludes with a reflection on the importance of mental health and work-life balance, particularly for Black workers navigating hostile work environments. Jenn shares her personal journey from STEM to academia and the pressures she faced, while Daren emphasizes the need for self-care and ethical work practices.

Reference Material:
https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/08/31/black-workers-views-and-experiences-in-the-us-labor-force-stand-out-in-key-ways/#:~:text=Black%20Americans%20make%20up%20large,time%20and%20are%20self%2Demployed
https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2022/04/07/black-americans-views-of-education-and-professional-opportunities-in-science-technology-engineering-and-math/
https://www.epi.org/indicators/state-unemployment-race-ethnicity/
https://www.brookings.edu/articles/why-are-employment-rates-so-low-among-black-men/
S1E5 – The Erasure of Black Women’s Work – https://soundcloud.com/thatblackcouple/episode-5-the-erasure-of-black-womens-work
Rutgers doctoral student gives birth on same day she defends dissertation – https://abc7ny.com/post/rutgers-doctoral-student-goes-into-early-labor-gives-birth-on-same-day-she-defends-dissertation-from-hospital/14780220/
Why I will no longer use my unpaid labor to discuss race in America with white people – https://watercoolerconvos.com/2017/09/10/will-no-longer-use-unpaid-labor-discuss-race-america-white-people/
On Nnedi Okorafor and when Hollywood values our work but erases our names – https://watercoolerconvos.com/2017/09/14/nnedi-okorafor-erasure/

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Podcast Summary:
This is an accidentally funny podcast about the realities of Blackness and adult life. We do “adult” differently. We are That Black Couple.
Our goal is to create a space for Black millennials to discuss and embody adult life on their own terms. We aren’t beholden to “traditional” gender or parenting roles, queerness is fluid and present in the ways we show up in our relationships and in the world, and we want to build community with other 30-something Black folx who are trying to figure this ish out.