Whitening the resume

Whitening the resume - Whitening the Rsum By MICHAEL LUO...

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Whitening’ the R é sum é By MICHAEL LUO Published: December 5, 2009 Tahani Tompkins was struggling to get callbacks for job interviews in the  Chicago area this year when a friend made a suggestion: Change your  name. Instead of Tahani, a distinctively African-American-sounding name,  she began going by T. S. Tompkins in applications.  Related In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap  (December 1, 2009)  Yvonne Orr, also searching for work in Chicago, removed her bachelor’s  degree from Hampton University, a historically black college, leaving just  her master’s degree from Spertus Institute, a Jewish school. She also deleted  a position she once held at an African-American nonprofit organization and  rearranged her references so the first people listed were not black.  The dueling forces of assimilation and diversity have long battled for  primacy in the American experience, most acutely among African- Americans. It’s not clear that assimilation has gained an edge here in the  waning days of the decade, but the women’s behavior — “whitening” the  r é sum é  — is certainly not isolated. Ms. Tompkins and Ms. Orr were among  the more than two dozen college-educated blacks interviewed for an  article   about racial disparities in hiring  published last week on the front page of  The New York Times. A half-dozen said they had taken steps to hide their 
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