Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph
Chad Sanders delivers an honest exploration of Black experiences when moving towards success in white environments. His first job in Silicon Valley quickly taught him that to gain success at work, he would need to code switch and play a certain social game to imitate whiteness.
After changing everything that connected him with his identity as a Black man, he was accepted in the business world, but did not feel like himself. When that weight became too heavy to bear, he changed back his clothes, behavior, speech, and more. Once he did, everything began to turn around for him. Sanders credits this change to what he calls Black Magic, the resilience, ingenuity, and stamina forged in his experience in America as a Black man.
In his talk, Sanders draws on powerful interviews with Black artists, activists, scientists, leaders, and champions, as well as his own story, to share the experience of imitating whiteness to gain success, and demonstrates how important it is to be your true self.
Tech entrepreneur, author, and rising Hollywood creative Chad Sanders is an in-demand voice on equity and entrepreneurship
Tech entrepreneur, author, and rising Hollywood creative CHAD SANDERS is a leading voice in conversations about creating equity in our workplaces, values-driven leadership, and creativity. In a compelling interview for NPR’s Wisdom from the Top with Guy Raz, Sanders shares his experience navigating white culture throughout his life, his journey back to his authentic self, and how he leveraged these experiences to establish himself as a thought leader across industries. Sanders credits this shift to what he calls Black Magic – the resiliency, creativity, and confidence forged in his experience navigating America as a Black man – and he tested his theory by interviewing Black leaders, scientists, artists, activists, and champions. The result is his critically acclaimed book of essays Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph. The response to his debut book is resounding, and Sanders has been sought-after for appearances on CBS News, NPR, Dare to Lead with Brené Brown, Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, among others. In revelatory keynotes and conversations, Sanders explores Black experiences in predominantly white environments, the risks of self-betrayal, and the value of being yourself.
Sanders’ work has been featured in The New York Times, SLAM, TIME, Teen Vogue, Fortune, and more, and he has collaborated with Spike Lee on a TV series based on his life, Archer, and is the co-creator and Executive Producer of Peacock’s highly anticipated How To Survive Inglewood. He is also co-writing Universal’s sports drama One and Done, and recently launched the Quitters Podcast, which he co-hosts. He is sought after for keynotes and conversations at venues such as Google, Netflix, Target, Twitter, New York University, Columbia Business School, Pymetrics, Berlin questions, The Michelle Meow Show at the Commonwealth Club of California, and many more. An in-demand speaker, Sanders offers insights from his personal experience as well as the wealth of knowledge cultivated through interviews for Black Magic, practical takeaways for corporations looking to shift their culture, and shares how and why his career took off when he embraced, instead of trying to hide, his identity as a Black man and a creative.
Chad Sanders' Black Magic is a powerful exploration of Black achievement based on honest, provocative, and moving interviews with Black leaders, scientists, artists, activists, and champions
In moving essays and in his speeches, CHAD SANDERS dives into his formative experiences to see if they might offer the possibility of discovering or honing what he identifies as Black Magic, namely resilience, creativity, and confidence forged in his experience navigating America as a Black man. He tests his theory by interviewing Black leaders across industries to get their take on Black Magic. The result is a revelatory and very necessary book and talk. Black Magic explores Black experiences in predominantly white environments and demonstrates the risks of self-betrayal and the value of being yourself.
Chad Sanders is a writer based in New York City. Previously, Chad worked at Google, YouTube, and as a tech entrepreneur. Chad’s screenwriting career began when he wrote for ABC Freeform’s Grown-ish in 2018. He has since written and co-written TV series and feature films with collaborators Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, and Will Packer, including Universal’s One and Done and Peacock’s How To Survive Inglewood. Chad’s op-ed pieces have appeared in The New York Times, SLAM Magazine, and Teen Vogue. He has also written a book, Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned From Trauma and Triumph. In addition to his writing, Chad is a director, actor, and musician. Before living in New York, Chad lived in Berlin, London, Oakland, and Atlanta. Chad earned his BA at Morehouse College in 2010. He was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland.