All those allegations are detailed in a lawsuit filed against GM in which eight workers say managers at the Toledo Powertrain plant did little or nothing to stop racism.
For Boyd, it began on his first day. He said he could feel the glare from white team members as if they were saying, "Who's he to be in charge of them?"
All the other supervisors, who were white, received training before their jobs, Boyd said. Boyd, an experienced supervisor albeit in a different industry, was given a clipboard and told to start.
But if he wondered if he was making too much of that, the situation crystallized when some of his juniors ignored him, refused to follow his directions and called him the N-word, though he could never see exactly who said it.
When he reported the insubordination to upper management, he said he was told to deal with it himself, to counsel his workers who'd used the slur.
The message he said he took from his leaders at the plant: Be happy you're here. Deal with it.
But it got harder each day to ignore, he told CNN in an interview.
A white employee Boyd oversaw told him: "Back in the day, you would have been buried with a shovel."
In his role as supervisor, Boyd reported that, too. The worker was taken to a disciplinary hearing with a union official and business leader where he freely admitted what he had said, Boyd recalled. But then Boyd himself was pulled aside and advised to let the matter go if he wanted to get along at the plant, he said. No disciplinary action was taken, Boyd said.
Boyd and other workers of color learned there was a coded language to talk about them, according to the lawsuit. White employees kept calling them "Dan." They thought some people didn't respect them enough to learn their names. But other colleagues told them it was a slur, an acronym for "dumb ass nigger."
The N-word was a regular part of life at Toledo Powertrain, where components are made for various Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles
, Boyd said. A white woman seen walking with him later found "Nigger lover" written on her pizza box.
When Boyd and others reported the abuse, their leadership told them to handle it themselves, he said.