Stop calling black women ‘intimidating’

The “intimidation” incident that made me quit my last job

Shamontiel Vaughn
Jul 5 · 10 min read
Black women have a right to feel every emotion that non-POC women do. (Photo credit: Clarke Sanders/Unsplash)

Why I quit my last corporate job

I know my flaws. None of them are as cutthroat as calling someone about magazine articles less than 24 hours after a family member has died in front of her.

Does the site of someone different make you feel intimidated? (Photo credit: Create Her Stock)

As a 30-something white woman who grew up in Minneapolis, I did not think she understood the weight of telling a black woman she was “scary” and “intimidating.”

From appeasing to intimidation: What I learned from other bosses

Why is choosing to work more than you play considered a bad thing? (Photo credit: Create Her Stock)
Two people looked at an el train ride from two different perspectives. (Photo credit: Stephy Miehle/Unsplash)

The train incident that lead to my evaluation

Photo credit: Matthew Henry/Unsplash
Does the site of someone who looks different from you make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells? (Photo credit: Pixabay)

The second evaluation: The “be professional” conversation

Photo credit: Create Her Stock

Why I turned in my two-weeks notice

If this face was lighter, would she still be intimidating to you? (Photo credit: Hust Wilson/Unsplash)

And I’d finally had enough. I called her on her own behavior: “So it’s OK to bite your bottom lip when the new HR guy walks by and talk about how he has such a cute ass?”

My issue was that I let a woman make me so uncomfortable for at least two months around every single member of my team.

I turned in my two-weeks notice the same day as the “professional” confrontation, even after I got a raise.

Leave negative people in the breeze. Otherwise, they win. You lose. (Photo credit: Leighann Renee/Unsplash)

Shamontiel Vaughn

Written by

14-year journalist (Tribune/Defender/CBS Chicago); Wag! dog walker; Toastmasters member/3x officer; co-host of Do Not Submit storytelling. Visit