Black History Month is an annual event honoring the many vital contributions of Black Americans, something the TMX Finance® Family of Companies is proud to celebrate. What started as “Negro History Week” in 1926, observed on the second week in February to honor Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays, has turned into a month-long devotion to celebrating Black Americans.
As part of our annual Company-wide celebration, we ask employees, “What does Black History Mean to you?” General Manager Kendall Wheeler, sums it up, “It’s a celebration of all that we have overcome and all that we are working toward.” Throughout the years, we have received varying perspectives and gained knowledge on the importance of this holiday from our Black Team Members, along with some tips on how we can continue to celebrate after this short month comes to an end.
Of the Team Members who choose to reflect on this question, one thing they can all agree upon is the importance of celebrating their rich culture every day of the year. “To be honest, I do not celebrate my Black Heritage for just one month. This is something that I celebrate every day,” was General Manager Patricia Cofer’s response to how she celebrates.
We connected with some of our General Managers on what the annual celebration means to them, why it serves as an important facet of their lives every day—not just during the month of February, and how others can learn and appreciate Black history.
How can others celebrate Black heritage throughout the year?
“Eliminate the stigma around ‘Black History’ and integrate our history books into your learning without holding anything back.” Kelley Frazier, General Manager
“Volunteer in unlikely places outside of your own community.” Edna Maffett, General Manager
“Others can help by looking at the complexity of African Americans. African Americans have a gift that goes far beyond music and sports but have the ability to change the world in a positive way if embraced with an open mind.” Giovonta Logan, General Manager
“The best way to honor and celebrate Black people is to actually listen to what they have to say. No one agrees with everyone on everything but listening from a place where you seek understanding is a huge step.” Micheal Petty, General Manager
We invite you to reflect on the month and ask yourself the question, “What does Black History Month mean to me?” Join us in learning more about Black History and how to celebrate this rich heritage in our Black History Month series.
Thoughts and opinions listed here were collected from members of our Black and African American workforce at the TMX Finance® Family of Companies. The thoughts expressed in this article are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the TMX Finance® Family of Companies.