As we look back in celebration of Black History Month, we also want to highlight how history continues to be made every day!
This summer, Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel tied for the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, making her the first black female in history to win an individual medal. In speaking about her multiple medal wins and international speed records, Manuel said:
“Many Americans are familiar with the stereotype that black people can’t swim. That stereotype does reflect some troubling stats. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, a black 11-year-old is 10 times as likely to drown in a swimming pool as a white 11-year-old. And as of 2010, around 70 percent of African-Americans said they couldn’t swim, compared with some 40 percent of white folks.”
Manuel’s is just one of the many trail-blazing competitors on the world’s stage today. Read more on her inspirational role and significance to black athletics here.
In the entertainment industry, which is often known for seemingly overlooking artists of color, we saw a few breakthroughs. We were happy to see more diversity at this year’s Academy Awards, with the most black winners in Oscar history! The list of Oscar nominees and winners included Viola Davis (Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Fences”), Mahershala Ali (Best Actor in a Supporting Role for “Moonlight”). Moonlight, which follows the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami, won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture!
2017 also marked the close of the 8-year term of the country’s first black president – Barack Obama. Maryland Representative Elijah E. Cummings sat down for an interview to discuss some of Obama’s biggest accomplishments. When asked about the importance of Black History Month, Cummings replied, “We shouldn’t have a Black History Month. I think black history should be incorporated into everything that we do. I was so impressed when the [former] first lady said in one of her speeches, I think it was at the convention, that she wakes up in the house that was built by slaves. See, I think a lot of people don’t even know the history of African-Americans and they try to set it aside, as if African-Americans contributed here, contributed there. We are a part of the fabric of this society.”
Still, even in our own industry of marketing and tech, the need for increased diversity in the tech workforce is noticeable. We applaud the Congressional Black Caucus for continuing to raise awareness for talent representation via the CBC TECH 2020 African American Inclusion Plan. Freelance labor company TaskRabbit is one Silicon Valley entity embracing this initiative and becoming a champion of the cause.
Despite these triumphs, there are still more barriers to destruct. At Push10, We aim to keep the reminder alive to Push Colorblindness, Push Equality and #PushLove.
Want a way to celebrate Black History month and connect with our country’s history beyond the month of February?? Check out the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Located just a few blocks from the Liberty Bell (and the Push10 office), this museum is the first institution built by a major U.S city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans.