Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African-Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Growing up in middle school I remember teachers sticking to topics around civil rights, milestones, and notable historical black leaders.
In 2021 – Black History Month should be looked like not only an acceptance of African-American History but a turning point for each of us to challenge ourselves to learn more than the importance of the work from recognizable Black Leaders like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. We should embrace and celebrate events such as the election of the first black and female Vice President of the United States, or the confirmation of Lloyd Austin as the first Black Defense Secretary of the United States. We should also remember some of the greatest losses in the last year within the Black Community such as one of the greatest athletes to have lived such as Kobe Bryant, Little Richard, and civil rights activist, and congressman, John Lewis.
Given the social unrest and upheaval in 2020, spurred by systemic injustice and inequality, in 2020 and in 2021 we see that as a society we are behind in not only embracing Black and African-American culture but also having a diverse, inclusive, and equitable society.
And it is clear that we are failing to provide the African-American and Black community in the United States with a sense of belonging. This means as a society, we need to come together to make changes in how we think about, treat and work with people from the African American community and the diaspora. Hopefully, this will force each of us to think about what we can do to make an impact in a time in history where actions (and inaction) from individuals and leaders alike will pave the way for creating a new, more equal, diverse, and just world.
Given that February in the United States we celebrate Black History month, we will be profiling 10 Black Leaders that have been selected by our community that has made an impact and we believe are worth learning about. Please, join us on this journey but more importantly take the time to learn more about and engage with the African-American and Black community and culture not only during February but throughout the whole year!