By Calvin Ware, General Manager, Le Meridien Houston Downtown
When I think about why recognizing Black History Month is important, I can’t help but to imagine those Black Americans who helped to pave the way and open doors to the many opportunities that I feel would not exist had they not tirelessly worked for them, so that someone who looks like me could achieve my dreams and aspirations. I think of how the actions of those before me are still being recognized and still creating equal opportunities for me today. I also think of where I could have been had I not been afforded those opportunities.
We must take the time to recognize the efforts that those Black Leaders made and to pay it forward. We must never forget the doors that have been opened and continue to open for people of all walks of life to be on equal ground in our personal and professional lives.
As a leader, I feel it is my duty and privilege to ensure those after me are afforded the same opportunities that have helped me. It is my responsibility to ensure that I create a diverse environment where every culture feels included and involved. It is my honor to carry the torch and uphold the legacy to ensure those after me always have a seat at the table and that their voices and opinions count regardless of the color of their skin.
Black History is American History
As a hospitality professional, recognizing Black History Month speaks to the efforts of ensuring we recognize the different backgrounds of each associate who joins our team. Many Black leaders worked and fought hard to ensure the fair and equal treatment of all, and we cannot let those efforts go to unacknowledged. We all must take a moment to recognize those Black leaders for their contributions to making us a better country where everyone is recognized and honored.
Black History is inclusion, and inclusion is hospitality.
By Christina Snipe, HR Manager, Openings & Transitions, Davidson Hospitality Group Corporate Office
When I was asked if I would share “What Black History Month Means to Me” I wanted to bring to light why it is important to recognize Black History Month. Black History Month is more than just another month. It’s an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their essential roles in U.S. history.
To save time, I will not start naming all of the achievements of every African American as that would take too long. What I will share with you today is how I believe Black History Month is a time for reflection, a time to honor and an opportunity to educate.
In regards to reflection, Black History Month is a time for me to reflect on what it means to be African American. I reflect on my history. Years of activism, demonstrations, and the passion of those who fought to gain equality for me. Their fight has helped to bring about some good change. Which is why we are where we are today. Because of them opportunities are still being created and history is still being made.
Black History Month also means bringing honor, celebrating and thanking the many African American Activist, Innovators, Inventors, Educators, Creators, Actors and Actresses, Musicians and Sports Champions and so many more who came before me. They all encourage and inspired me to dream big and to believe that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
It’s a time to honor the activist who bravely fought for our rights and freedoms but did not live long enough to see those rights and freedoms comes to pass.
It’s honoring our Innovators and Inventors who created and produced many of the inventions, tools, appliances, scientific and mathematical theories, etc, that are still use today.
It’s a time to honor the educators who realized that knowledge is power. Learn all you can and pass on that knowledge to others so that we can continue to learn, be better and do better for ourselves, our family and the world.
It’s a time to honor the African American Creators, Actors, Actresses and Musicians who’s goals were to showcase the talents they possessed which would go on to inspire so many other races to this day.
And it’s a time to honor and celebrate the Sports Champions who would go on to break records and exceed expectations in all sports arenas.
Black History Month means educating not only African Americans but everyone and every race on the difficult and tumultuous times that were experienced throughout history so that we can continue to learn and grow. It’s a time to teach others about how African Americans maintained integrity, leadership, good character and determination when they were not always dealt a fair hand in life.
We use this time to educate and to show that adversity and challenges will always be present. It’s how you choose to deal with it, is what makes the difference. You can either be defeated by your circumstances or you can find ways to overcome it.
That is what “Black History Month Means To Me.”