Starbucks stores across the Unites States were closed on the afternoon of May 29 for employees to receive sensitivity training for racial biases. A short film by award-winning documentary maker Stanley Nelson was commissioned by the company and shown to employees as part of the training. In addition to explaining the history of civil rights violations suffered by African American people, the video also showcased how vastly different the simple experience of walking out of the house or going grocery shopping is for people of different races.
“I have to make sure that my hands are visible when I walk into certain places, so they make sure I’m not stealing,” one man says in the video. Another young black woman says, “especially being a teen of colour, they assume I’m doing something bad.”
Starbucks came under heavy criticism after a video went viral on social media in April showing two black men who were arrested by the police because a Starbucks employee reported them simply for waiting in coffee shop for their friend. You can watch the video below: