Best Stories of Sharon Hurley Hall

Top Writer in Diversity; Writes about Racism, Equality, Black Lives Matter and more

Sharon Hurley Hall — photo by William Cummins
Sharon Hurley Hall — photo by William Cummins
Author photo by William Cummins

I decided to take up Dr Mehmet Yildiz’s challenge to pick my top stories since I’ve been writing on ILLUMINATION. (I’ve since left the publication).

The question is: how should I pick the best stories? I started by selecting some of the most read stories.

1. An alien, a robot, and a human walk into a bar …

I’m happy that readers like this one because it’s also very special to me. That’s because it’s my first published short story.

I’ve been writing for decades, but that mostly consists of writing about digital marketing for clients, a few non-fiction ebooks, and occasional poetry.

As the is the first story I considered finished, it holds a special place in my heart. With any luck, it will also be the start of a series featuring these characters.

Here’s a quote readers loved from this story:

“He wished he could remember what had happened after the tenth drink — those alien guys weren’t so bad after all. He’d even got used to ol’ spider-face.”

2. Let’s Not Pretend That Normal Was Working For Everyone

A few weeks ago, I was hearing lots of talk about getting back to normal. At the same time, there were other conversations about some of the benefits people had experienced from having to be at home.

A lot of people felt that if the new normal resembled the old normal, they didn’t want it. That was the genesis for this article.

Here’s a popular quote from this article:

“Should large corporations which generate billions in profits be getting bailouts while people are still starving?”

3. The Double-Take: Interviewing While Black

In the wake of the George Floyd murder, I started reflecting on my experiences as a Black woman and the experiences that many Black people have. That resulted in a series of articles, which I’m still writing.

I wanted to focus on the common experience of having people react with surprise when someone with an anglicized name walks into an interview room. It turns out that I’m not alone in that.

Here’s a popular highlight from that article:

“If you’re Black and you have a name you’ve inherited from the colonizers, then you’ve likely seen the double-take. It’s that moment when you walk into a room and your interviewers realize that, despite your anglicized name, you’re actually Black.”

4. Surprise, I’m Qualified! Working While Black

In similar vein, many Black people experience downright disbelief in the workplace and elsewhere about our qualifications and experiences. It’s just one of a long list of microaggressions (and sometimes outright aggressions) Black people have to deal with. I tell a few true stories in this article.

The following quote struck a chord with readers:

“As a Black woman, I can’t be too quiet (because people think there’s nothing in my head). But I can’t be too loud (because then I’m stereotyped as aggressive or angry). How exactly am I supposed to navigate that balance?”

5. I’m Tired (of Racism)

Though it’s last on my list, for me, this was the article that started it all. In the wake of the George Floyd murder and the resulting protests, I needed to put into words how I and many other Black people were feeling then and still feel now. It’s been going on too long and we’re tired of it, hence the title.

Unsurprisingly, this was the quote that struck readers most powerfully:

“I’m tired of the color of my skin being a reason to stop me from my daily rounds or, in the US, a mark of death.”

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional B2B writer and blogger, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast.

Written by

Pro writer (B2B/B2C). Antiracism writer. Co-host: Introvert Sisters podcast. Global citizen. She/her. Sharon’s Anti-Racism NL: https://antiracism.substack.com/

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