Celebrating Black History Month 2021

Carbon Five ·

Throughout the month of February, we were excited to celebrate Black History Month (BHM) by honoring Black leaders, spotlighting Black community achievements, and sharing Black stories with our team at Carbon Five. Each week, we hosted company-wide activities to encourage learning and open discussion on how Black history has contributed to and helped shape the industry we work in today. 

Here’s a glimpse into our BHM celebration and a look at the conversation topics that emerged.

Black History Month Book Club 2021 zoom meeting at Carbon Five

DEI Book Club – The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

As part of Black History Month programming, our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) working group selected ‘The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration’ to read for February’s book club.

“Based on interviews with more than 1000 people, and told through the lives of several interviewees, The Warmth of Suns documents the movement of 6 million African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North and the West, in their search for a better life.” 

Our book club attendees enjoyed hour-long discussions on select chapters during lunch each week. A few topics we covered from the book include: 

  • Similarities and differences of The Great Migration to other migrations in the USA
  • Creation and maintenance of residential segregation and its impact on race relations
  • Parallel universes of blackness/whiteness in the USA, passing (as white)
  • Vigilante justice, police brutality, riots, safe spaces, and more

The book club plans to continue reading and completing the book in March.

(image via)

 

Black History Month 2021 Mudbound Movie Night poster

Virtual Movie Night – Mudbound 

On February 11th, we hosted a team Teleparty screening of Mudbound.

“Starring Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige and Jason Clarke, the highly-regarded Mudbound (97% Rotten Tomatoes and 4 Oscar nominations) tells the story of two families – one white, one black – as they confront the brutal realities of friendship, prejudice and farming in a divided World War 2 era. It is shown through the eyes of two men who return home from WWII to work on a farm in rural Mississippi.”

Mudbound’s plot is linked to the time and stories covered by our BHM book selection for Carbon Five’s DEI book club — ‘The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration’. 

(image via)

 

Black History Month 2021 Charles H Wright Museum Virtual Tour homepage on laptop

Museum Tour – The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit

We also took virtual tours at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

“Home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, the Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, and the Sheffield Collection – a repository of documents regarding the labor movement in Detroit – among many other notable materials, The Wright houses more than 35,000 artifacts pertaining to the African American experience.”

The digital exhibits we were able to explore include: 

  • Voting Matters – African Americans and the Right to Vote 
  • The Art of Samuel Hodge – Stories in Stained Glass
  • In-between the World and Dreams – An Installation by Ibrahim Mahama
  • Portals of Sankofa – Adinkra carvings of Betty Kaye Martin
  • Queen – From the collection of CCH Pounder

Team Happy Hour – Black History Facts and Trivia

During our weekly office happy hours, we opened discussions focused on sharing Black History Month facts and played team trivia based on learning resources from Oprah Magazine and Vidette. A few interesting facts from the conversations: 

  • The celebration of Black History Month began in 1926
  • The first African American Nobel Peace Prize winner was Ralph Bunche, an American political scientist and diplomat
  • Lucy Stanton became the first Black woman in America to graduate with a four year degree from Oberlin College in Ohio, 1850
  • In 1981, Bryant Gumbel was the first Black broadcast journalist to host a network morning show, NBC’s Today Show

 

Black History Month 2021 Instagram Stories of Tope Awotona and Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson

Instagram Stories – Spotlighting Black Leaders in Tech

We invited our community of Carbon Five followers, including alumni and clients, to join our celebration of Black History Month on Instagram. Each week, we spotlighted prominent, influential Black leaders in tech from past and present on Instagram stories. We highlighted the personal journeys and incredible achievements of four Black tech leaders, including: 

  • Tope Awotona, Founder of Calendly
  • Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Granville Tailer Woods, Mechanical and Electrical Engineer and Inventor
  • Dorothy Vaughan, Mathematician and Computer Programmer, NASA 

Check out our Black History Month 2021 Highlights on Instagram to see the complete Stories. 

If you’re looking for more information and learning resources to continue celebrating Black achievement and history, we recommend checking out some of the following links: 

 

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