The Black Family: Representation, Identity & Diversity
In 1926, Carter G. Woodson, a founder of the Association for the Study of the African American Life and History, recognized the importance of establishing yearly themes for Black History Month. His goal was to focus the attention of the larger public and bring awareness to significant developments and accomplishments. The theme for Black History Month 2021 is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” Below, the leaders of the Black Organization for Leadership & Development (BOLD) ERG at DocuSign share their voices and experiences on representation, identity and diversity.
The Black family is the enduring atom that has, throughout time, been tested to its limits. Yet it finds a way to remain whole and grow stronger. It’s the seed from which we grow and learn things that are not in books or television that we must know to survive. The Black family urges each Black person not to settle for survival, but to flourish. The Black family comes through in the work that we do and makes our contributions to the world full of a special type of soul, passion, grace and intelligence.
The Black family is the pursuit of excellence. In many situations, we’re often one of few in a town or community and stand out, which makes it a requirement to represent the family well. What I have learnt and loved most about the Black family is the “community spirit.” We stand up and show up for each other. A child belongs to the community. The Black family not only lies within relational ties but also the emotional comfort and community we create with each other. For instance, anyone can be labeled an “Auntie” or “Brother” or “Sis” whether you’re a good friend, celebrity or a neighbour. Black communities create family ties within our own micro-communities at workplaces, churches and anywhere else we hold space.
The Black family is represented in every part of the world. The Black family may look different. The Black family may sound different. We have different shades, different textures, different languages, accents and foods. We have different struggles and atrocities that we’ve had to face in each country and each continent. But what remains the same, is that the Black family holds strong. The Black family laughs. The Black family creates a culture that is admired and desired. The Black family thrives. The Black family moves forward.
The Black family is powerful and strong. The Black family is community, is friendship, is love. The Black family are fighters. The Black family works together. The Black Family is often misunderstood, mis-represented, and often has to defend. The Black Family is beautiful. The Black family is bonded. The Black family is full of joy, music, cooking, and experiences. The Black family is passionate and supportive. The Black Family’s diversity is also what makes it so special.
The Black family is strength - to adapt to any situation and to endure continuous oppression. The Black family is love. Love that can inspire and bring families together. The Black family is persistent. Persistence keeps our family together. Persistence demands justice in an unjust world.
In June of last year, we agreed to continuously apply our talents, influence and resources in support of racial justice through our Black Lives Matter: Let’s Agree to do Better statement. Our Black Organization for Leadership and Development (BOLD) ERG came to us with an idea to create a video to honor and celebrate Black History Month. As a result, our creative team had the privilege of partnering with BOLD leaders and members to make their vision a reality resulting in an inspiring video we are calling The Letter, Make Your Mark:
To learn more about the Black Organization for Leadership & Development (BOLD) employee group at DocuSign or our other employee resource groups, visit https://www.docusign.ca/company/careers or follow @DocuSign on Instagram where we share more about our organization’s culture.