Director of Payroll & Compliance
Corporate Office, Atlanta, GA
“What Black History Month Means to Me?” That is a loaded question but allow me to invite you into my thoughts on what this annual celebration means to me. Firstly, I think of PRIDE and CHANGE! This celebration is a time of reflection, celebration, and to educate. It’s a time to reflect on those African Americans from the past and present such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and John Lewis to name a few who were very brave to pave the way for our freedoms that we are fortunate to have today. It also reminds us of our responsibility to continue the work our ancestors started, because I can only imagine what it felt like to go through slavery, segregation, voter oppression etc.
Through these struggles, our ancestors were resilient and found ways to evolve leading to some of our greatest inventions. You have Mark Dean who co-invented the color monitor; Marie Van Brittan Brown invented one of first home security systems; Garrett Morgan invented the gas masks and creation of the yellow component of 3-light traffic light; Dr. Charles Richard Drew who invented the idea of blood bank and the list goes on and on. Black History Month gives me a feeling of empowerment and reminds me that although the struggle continues, there have been major changes fought for by African Americans, so we have the freedom to live a normal life. This celebration is not exclusively to only African Americans but also for everyone to join in and celebrate the rich African American history, innovators, greatness, and achievements of so many outstanding individuals.
My final point is just this, we are ALL beautifully and wonderfully created by God, and there should not be any division among ethnicity or race. We each have our own unique talents in which God gave to each of us. Imagine what the world would be like if we work together and bring all our talents together to make this world a better place. So, the question is, “why recognizing black history is important to me?” Ask yourself this question…what if black history is black affirmations? The need to showcase the many accomplishments of other black leaders is for the benefit of affirming that I too am capable of greatness. Affirmations are a way of life and normally individuals who are successful exercise some form of affirmation. In the black culture we’re taught to speak things into existence. If we speak it then it becomes our truth. My answer to this question is black history breeds black excellence. It is a reminder to me that nothing is too hard for me if I apply myself and stay focused on the task. My ancestors have already paved the way and set forth examples for me to use as my guide. My black history in no way takes anything from any other ethnicity. It merely empowers me to BELIEVE, and that is why black history is a necessary tool!