This February, I've been thinking a lot about Black History Month, the time of year when we remember and honor Black leaders of the past. And there's one word that keeps tripping me up: history.
Yes, it's incredibly important to honor Black heroes of the past. My son Trace and I are committed to continuing our education on Black history, and frankly, I've learned more reading with him than I ever did when I was in school. Here are some of the books we've been reading:
But Black history is so much more than past achievements. We need to recognize and remember that WE are Black history. Today. This Black History Month, I pledge to help shape Black history by supporting Black businesses and improving Black representation in my career field.
I recently attended a virtual event called "Coffee With a Black Guy." Founder James Joyce III opened himself up to people from all walks of life for an honest conversation about race. I enjoyed the discussion so much that I went to his online shop and purchased "Coffee With a Black Guy" mugs for my team at work. Click here to learn more about CWABG.
I also discovered AJA Soul, a fashion brand that proudly expresses Black culture, heritage and consciousness. I ordered some Black History Month swag for my family and I plan to order more for Juneteenth. Follow them on Instagram.
My company National Recruiting Consultants recently donated to the mentorship program at the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing. We will be exhibiting at the NBASLH convention in 2023 and beyond, and we will continue to seek sponsorship opportunities annually. Why? Because there is a racial disparity in speech therapy. A study found that the odds of receiving intervention services for both Black and Hispanic children were "46% lower than for otherwise similar White children.” According to Zippia.com, only 4.2% of speech-language pathologists are Black, and it is one the least diverse professions in the United States.
This is Black history. It's more than just learning about a few exceptional Black people who lived once upon a time. The decisions we make today are shaping Black history and the Black experience for years to come. Let's all pledge to not only remember Black history but also take action to help shape it all month, all year, every year.