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The Other Black Girl: Grade the Premiere of Thrilling Workplace Horror

"The Other Black Girl" explores the challenges faced by Black professionals in predominantly white workspaces, highlighting the importance of trust and allyship.

In the captivating Hulu thriller series, The Other Black Girl, the complex and isolating experience of being the only Black person in a predominantly white workplace is explored. The show, which recently released its first season consisting of 10 episodes, delves into the unsettling feeling of uncertainty when it comes to trusting a potential ally in such an environment.

The opening sequence sets the tone for the suspenseful journey ahead. It transports viewers back to 1988, where a young Black woman is shown on her commute home from work at Wagner Books. As she slowly loses her grip on reality, hallucinations of white people staring at her and blood on her hands consume her. Her terrified scream serves as a haunting transition into the present day, introducing a different Black professional on the train.

This is where we meet Nella, portrayed by Sinclair Daniel, an editorial assistant at Wagner who spends her commute editing. Upon entering the office, Nella is confronted with a wall adorned with pictures of white editors spanning from 1985 to the present. However, her focus is drawn to the sole Black editor, Kendra Rae Phillips, who was also present in the disturbing flashback from 1988.

Despite Nella's rising star status at Wagner, her professional life is not without its challenges. She faces daily microaggressions, such as a coworker sending her an article titled "The Token in the Corporate Machine: Being Black in a White Workplace" and immediately asking if she has read it. The coworker then shares how the article fired her up. These subtle acts of discrimination take a toll on Nella.

Nella begins to question her sanity when she sees her monitor displaying a live security feed of herself at her desk, only for it to quickly return to normal. Her cubicle mate advises her not to let the workplace drain her of life, hinting at potential ominous events to come. The next day, Nella notices a mysterious Black woman wearing a beanie observing her as she enters the office, further fueling her paranoia.

The introduction of Hazel, played by Ashleigh Murray, as the newest assistant at Wagner brings a sense of relief to Nella. Finally, she has another Black woman to connect with in the office. However, doubts arise regarding Hazel's intentions. During a coffee break, Hazel presents Nella with an autographed copy of Burning Heart, a book by a fictional author named Diana Gordon. Coincidentally, this happens to be Nella's favorite book.

Nella's professional life seems to be on an upswing when her boss, Vera, portrayed by Bellamy Young, reveals that she is recommending Nella for a promotion to assistant editor. Vera then seeks Nella's opinion on an upcoming book release by their top-selling author, Colin Franklin. Nella voices her concerns about the book's perpetuation of harmful stereotypes. However, Vera dismisses her, emphasizing the importance of Colin's contributions to the company and urging Nella to lie about her true thoughts during Colin's announcement party.

Frustrated with the situation, Nella confides in Hazel about Colin's problematic main character. Hazel encourages her to trust her instincts and be honest, even if it means going against Vera's wishes. Nella hesitates, fearing the potential consequences for her promotion, but ultimately decides to speak her truth, reassured by Hazel's promise to support her.

However, the turn of events at the announcement party takes an unexpected twist. Hazel mentions to Colin that she has read his book, deflecting his request for her opinion and redirecting the attention to Nella. Nella initially struggles to articulate her thoughts, but with Hazel's encouraging nod, she finds the strength to express her concerns about the dangerous and problematic nature of Colin's main character, "Shartricia."

To Nella's surprise, Colin then turns to Hazel, who surprisingly praises his book, completely contradicting Nella's critique. Colin requests that Hazel write an editorial letter for him, essentially throwing Nella under the bus.

As Nella concludes her late night at the office, she discovers a note in her coat pocket with a chilling message: "Leave Wagner now." In the elevator, she catches a glimpse of Kendra Rae's reflection staring back at her, raising questions about their intertwined destinies.

The Other Black Girl is a gripping series that delves into the complexities of navigating a predominantly white workspace as the only Black individual. It explores themes of trust, identity, and the challenges faced by Black professionals in such environments. With its thought-provoking storyline and compelling characters, the show captivates viewers and leaves them eagerly anticipating what lies ahead for Nella and Kendra Rae.

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