The Other Black Girl: A bold exploration of workplace racism in a white-dominated setting
The Other Black Girl, a Hulu original series, follows a black girl’s fight for survival in the white-dominant New York City press industry. The series, premiering on September 13, 2023, will have ten episodes released simultaneously.
The series’ bold exploration of workplace racism in a white-dominated received praise during the screening of its first two episodes at Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival on August 10, 2023. The official synopsis of The Other Black Girl by Hulu states:
“Nella, an editorial assistant, is tired of being the only Black girl at her company, so she's excited when Hazel is hired; but as Hazel's star begins to rise, Nella spirals out and discovers something sinister is going on at the company.”
The Other Black Girl cleverly captures woes of office culture
The Other Black Girl is an adaptation of Zakiya Dalila Harris’ novel of the same name. The main cast includes Sinclair Daniel (Nella Rogers), Ashleigh Murray (Hazel-May McCall), Brittany Adebumola(Malaika), Hunter Parrish (Owen), and Bellamy Young (Vera).
The story follows Nella’s struggles at work, including a fallout with Colin and suspicions about her new coworker, Hazel. She meets her idol, author Diana Gordon, and invites Hazel to meet her friends. A book leak causes tensions with her colleague Vera and leaves Nella overwhelmed.
Hazel’s involvement in Nella’s life leads to unease. A visit to Hazel’s house uncovers unsettling truths about the publishing house she works for. As Nella pieces things together before Diana’s imprint launch, her worst fears come true, and Hazel’s mysterious past in Boston is revealed. Season 1 ends with Nella forced to choose between her career and the safety of her loved ones.
The story is considered bold because it is based on the real-life incident of the author, Zakiya Dalila Harris. In an interview with EW, she expressed her experience:
“I was working in publishing and was the only Black editorial assistant, the only Black full-time employee on my floor, I remember seeing another Black woman coming out of the bathroom stall like two years into my time there, and I was like, ‘Who is this person?’ I was taken by how excited I was to see her.”
Zakiya also expresses that she had to pull herself out of the character to let Sinclair make it into the series. She was very happy about the casting of the series:
“There’s something so palpable in Sinclair Daniel’s audition. I can see so much in her face at once, and Nella goes through so many highs and so many lows. I really do feel like she just had this magical thing where you’re rooting for her, but she’s also not a doormat.”
The Other Black Girl infuses comedy and social message
The Other Black Girl seems to be a combination of mystery, thriller, and social commentary, which makes the series a bold attempt to showcase the struggles in black women’s lives. Nella is pushed to the extent that she feels she is losing herself.
Even though the world supports anti-racism, the series explores the unvoiced themes of minor abuses faced by black people everywhere. But the series uses comedy in combination to make it commercial.