Thriving While Black: The act of Surviving and Thriving in the same space by Cori Williams

About the Book:

 “Thriving While Blacksets out to explore the psychological and emotional consequences of being Black in America as well as in the workplace. The playing field for Whites and Blacks are not equal in both corporate and social strata. Blacks are discriminated against and excluded based on their skin color, which creates the question of what their place is in America.

Black workers in corporate America have to grapple with racial microaggressions in the workplace, which often involves White workers assuming that their Black counterparts are intellectually inferior to them; a phenomenon that is an obstacle to the upward mobility of Blacks in different organizations.

This book portrays that Blacks are Americans too and should not have to be seen as less and unequal. Since America prides itself in diversity, America should be able to bring diverse people together and allow their diversity to thrive rather than force them to adopt mainstream White culture and mannerisms. This is the focus of this book, and this should be the focus of America.



Check Out An Excerpt from the Book:

C H A P T E R  T W O




A random Google search on “professional hairstyle”

would bring well curated images of white women

with long straight or wavy hair. Another search

on “unprofessional hairstyle” would bring images of Black

women wearing their natural hairstyles. This occurrence threw

the internet into a pandemonium with lots of women sharing

their stories of racial discrimination based on hairstyles in the

corporate world.

To an outsider, and by outsider, I am referring to non-Black

people or individuals who have not had phenomenological

experiences of racial discrimination based on hairstyles, the

pandemonium that occurred might seem like an overreaction.

“Is not there meant to be a standard for appearance in the

corporate environment?” they might ask. “You cannot wear

whatever you want to wear to an office,” some might add.

But the uproar about racial discrimination based on hairstyle

is not merely a matter of preference or choice, but instead, is

a systemic problem that targets only a fraction of individuals.

The policy against certain hairstyles might to some individuals

apply equally to every individual, but when these hairstyles are

worn primarily by a certain group of individuals, then the ban

is targeted. If a ban against straight hair is implemented in

corporate America, the race that would primarily be affected

will be those with naturally occurring straight hair. This is the

case with discrimination against the Afro, dreadlocks, braids,

and cornrows.

Learn a little more about the Author:

The Author Cori Williams MSW L.C.S.W is a graduate from the prestigious Boston University located in the heart of Boston Massachusetts. A multifaceted entrepreneur, Cori is the owner of Wilmore Marketing Consultants LLC. a Marketing Firm out of Atlanta Ga. offering Internet Marketing Solutions for consumers and business owners. In his latest endeavor as an Executive Life Coach, he is the founder of Quintessential Wellness Solutions LLC., a Family Therapy & Executive Life Coaching Practice and Co-Owner of B&M Enterprises which is a real estate investors Company.

Before his entrepreneurial success, Williams worked in the Nonprofit industry for 12 years holding various leadership roles. In his career years, he assisted with establishing GED curriculum workshops for adult learners and facilitated numerous workshops for first-time fathers who struggle with maintaining consistency in the lives of their children and face social and emotional barriers which has prevented them from consistently engaging in the lives of their children in the urban communities.

Having transitioned into the coaching industry, he takes it upon himself to wholeheartedly use his experience to serve people. As an Executive Life coach, he works with professionals and individuals to identify their strengths. Working with career professionals and business owners, Mr. Williams helps them identify their business strengths and weaknesses to propel these regardless of the industry they service. Furthermore, he assists them in identifying and executing solutions to their problems. He also works with them to rebuild their confidence, purpose and drive to succeed in life. With his experience, these clients can also overcome emotional barriers that has prevented them from creating the impact in life and their professional world, showcasing their natural capabilities.

However, Mr. Williams finds his career paths to be abundantly rewarding and within his capabilities shares valuable experience to his clients. Whether in the corporate field, business, or wellness, he finds strength in seeing individuals thrive and living a life of purpose. Cori is inspired by the renowned Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Besides coaching and entrepreneurship, he has co-authored academic journals and wellness/reentry curriculums focusing on reducing recidivism within the urban communities. Mr. Williams has also partnered with many well-established business professionals offering Coaching courses on Mindset Shifting for the purpose of prepping aspiring investors and business startups in effort to assist individuals with beginning the process of starting generational wealth.

AAMBC: Tell the readers a bit about yourself?


Cori: My name is Cori J. Williams and I am a Licensed Clinical Therapist, multi-business owner, Executive Life Coach and Author.


AAMBC: Can you give the listener more insight as it relates to the central message of your book?


Cori: Thriving While Black sets out to explore the psychological and emotional consequences of being Black in corporate America and America itself.

The book portrays that Blacks are Americans too and should not have to be seen as less and unequal! Our humanity should not be reduced to mere negative stereotypes.

If America truly prides itself in diversity, there shouldn’t be a forced need for Blacks to adopt mainstream White culture, hair styling, speech mannerisms, dress codes, etc., and neglect their own African-American identity just to fit into corporate America. The beauty of diversity is not gathering different and diverse people and trying to make them act the same way. Instead, it is bringing diverse people together and allowing their diversity to thrive. This is the focus of this book.


AAMBC: In chapter four you discuss the phenomenon of “code-switching in Corporate America. Can you give some background on the term “code switching” and how it is addressed in the book?


Cori: Linguistics state that code-switching or dialect modification occurs when a person alternates between two or more languages depending on the social context or conversational setting.

In my book, I address the problems that African Americans are faced with when having to adapt not just their speaking styles, but also their mannerisms, their appearance, just to name a few, only to attempt  to fit into a western culture.

From childhood, A black child is a forced to censor certain parts of themselves and their dialect because these aspects are laden with stereotypes that strips the average black person of their individuality and humanity


AAMBC: Can you tell me more about the psychological effects that one would experience when having to code switch while in professional settings?


Cori: Here is a question, what does that mean when someone will only accept you in the form that is seemingly comfortable to them? Not having the opportunity to show up and simply be your authentic self, having to constantly live in this duality will surely have a significant impact on ones psychological and emotional state.

The areas that are sure to be impacted would be ones self-esteem, significant feelings of anxiety, an attack on ones self-conscience(do I wear my hair straight, do I wear my hair natural, should I cut off my twist).


AAMBC: What would you say would be the central need or necessity for an individual code switch?


Cori: Many that I have had the pleasure of counseling, have identified the necessity to code switch as a survival tactic to operate within their communities and professional settings.

So to truly answer the question, we must acknowledge that the necessity to code switch, is solely based on a persons experiences within the environments they work and reside which in turn assist with formulating their perspective on the need to code switch for the purpose of fitting in to social groups, surviving encounters with authorities or getting that ideal job or promotion they are pursuing.


AAMBC: What are other subject matters that you tackle in your book, that you would say are necessary for readers to pay attention to?


Cori: The book covers a myriad of topics ranging from (CTSD) Corporate Trauma Syndrome Disorder, dealing with Imposter Syndrome and African Americans deserving a “Seat at the Table”.  I  also identify and provide evidenced-based solutions to the many psychological and emotional factors that presents as potential barriers that many African Americans opt to cope with in silence.


AAMBC: What inspired you to write Thriving While Black?


Cori: My inspirations derives from personal experiences throughout my professional journey in addition to the abundance of insight provided from the stories and experiences shared throughout the years from those that I have counseled.

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