Reflecting on the past and present of Black History Month
- Posted on February 16, 2022
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
Black History Month will always mean much more than 28 days of Black excellence and achievement. Interwoven into the fabric of our nation is the supreme exhibition of those Black profiles of courage, like exceptional researchers who have received such a distinction in the fields of academics or contemporary artist that examine how race identity shapes and affects the way in which folks of African ancestry reclaim our time and further explore heritage and representation.
As we continue to speak and celebrate the names of our Black history heroes like Sister Rosa Parks and Brother George Washington Carver, Black history is being made every day. “Instead of making history, we are made by history.” - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Those historical moments that forever changed the nation were introduced to me at the age of four, when my classmates and I saw our first images of racial inequality from the civil rights era. What felt like a single event occurring intentionally in February created a powerful impression: an abrupt awakening to what I know, think, and feel; the unimaginable words from my teacher as she recalled her own experience of growing up in the South during the segregation era.
Today, I celebrate Black History by writing this blog post on behalf of our INSPIRE Black Employee Network, and for all of February I plan to celebrate Avanade for inspiring how I choose to be seen, and have my voice heard. I also take Black History Month as a time for reflection: the obstacles our Black ancestors faced are not the same as the struggles of Black Americans today, but in many ways, our life experiences are similar. Today, we continue to collectively yearn for inclusion and equality. How often did that yearning for inclusion show up in our ancestors’ dreams as well?
I noticed right away Avanade's courage and commitment to champion for inclusion when I joined seven months ago. From that pivotal moment during onboarding when leadership spoke openly about the nation’s social unrest for Brother George Floyd and Sister Breonna Taylor, whose deaths were felt around the world, I knew then as I know now that there is something special about our culture. It feels beyond impactful to be a member of the Avanade family.