Black history month is a time of when America reflects on the historical moments, cultural impact, achievements and experiences that have shaped America and the Black/African-American narrative.
MLK Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcom X, W. E. B. Du Bois. These are the names that we recognize that are always and undoubtable brought up to represent Black History Month. Yet, something is missing…where are the modern and present day Black voices that are creating history today? Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. Benjamin Jealous, Jimmie Briggs and Ira McKinley.
A new century calls for new stories grounded in the present.
In celebration and honor of Black History Month, I set out on a project to capture the narratives of the Staff here at the Center who identified as Black/African-Americans to learn about their stories, experiences and how they navigate the workforce through their identities. History is known when stories are shared and I wanted to share their stories with you.
Because through storytelling, people are able find a common ground of understanding and acknowledge that we may share similar experiences. At the same time, there is a beauty in our differences giving us the opportunity to learn and appreciate them. These experiences are not exclusive to one race, gender, religion, etc.
This project started out as a simple idea however, as I kept interviewing, the stories and experiences got emotional, moving and even in sad disbelief that racism and prejudices is just as real today as it was centuries ago. It may not be as forward or direct living here in San Diego, however, just listening and relating to their stories, there is still so much work to be done.
These individual stories have become a collective voice to learn about the modern experiences of Black and African Americans and what can be done to change the narrative. As a collective, each voice is an individual with their own perspective. They do not speak on behalf of their race or a group of people.
These are the people, the staff member you may have grown to know, and their stories that will be shared and posted throughout the month. (links to the blog will be available when posted).
- Zuri Williams: Career Agent
- Ms. Barbara Perkins: Career Agent
- Deona Dorsey: Operations Manager-Special Projects
- Terrance Bowens: Workshop Facilitator and Trainer
- Edith Drake-Winters: Career Agent
- Inna Lomack: Business Services Representative
- Maurice Williams: Business Services Representative
- Theresa “Terry” Hoggart: Employment Specialist
As each story that is published throughout the month, I hope that you take this as an opportunity to listen, understand, and become conscious of the world around you and how it may affect those around you differently.