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 and why it serves as an important facet of their lives every day, not just during the month of February.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
“Black history is when we celebrate black excellence. Growing up in school I remember always learning about the struggles of African Americans; watching movies about slaves and civil rights, that was pretty much it. As I got older, I decided instead of continuing to talk about the struggles, I would celebrate the excellence of being black in America.” Giovonta Logan, General Manager
“Black History Month is a period that gives me great pleasure every year. Not only is it a great opportunity to showcase exceptional Blacks that have served as trailblazers in various different fields and industries, but it doubles as proof that Blacks have been able to accomplish EVERYTHING that other races have as well, dispelling the myths stating otherwise.” Micheal Petty, General Manager
“Pride and purpose in taking a moment to truly embrace who you are and where you come from. A moment to show gratitude to our ancestors and to serve as a reminder of our past so we never stop moving forward.” Edna Maffett, General Manager
“Inclusion. Understanding what our Founding Fathers meant when they said, ‘All Men Are Created Equal.’ You have to know where you came from to know where you are going.” Ted Newman, 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.