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Black History Month: What It Means To Us

Every February, we celebrate Black History Month. It’s a time when people of all backgrounds can stop to appreciate the significance of Black culture, both in the United States and around the world.  

Black History Month’s first iteration began in February 1926 with Carter G. Woodson, a man now known as the “father of Black history.” Originally, he chose February as a time to celebrate because it coincided with the birth dates of social reformer Frederick Douglass and US President Abraham Lincoln, both of whom played a significant role in ending slavery. In the years since, Black History Month has evolved to become a time to teach people about the countless — and all-too-often forgotten — accomplishments of Black individuals since the African Diaspora. 

During the slave trade era, African families were dispersed to different states, nations, and continents, leading to today’s global presence of Black individuals and their many accompanying societal contributions. This year’s Black History Month theme, “Black Health and Wellness,” builds upon this historical backdrop as it celebrates the legacy not just of Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also of birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, and herbalists who contributed to human health during the diaspora. (You can learn more about this year’s theme here and additional educational resources here!) 

To bring the celebration in house here at TaskRabbit, we reached out to our internal Black affinity group, TR Noir, to learn what they do at TaskRabbit and what Black History Month means to them. 

 


 

Name: James Arthur Martin

Title: People Experience Specialist 

 

What do you do at TaskRabbit?

I’ve been at TaskRabbit for almost six years, starting off in onboarding and coaching new Taskers. Now, I’m building upon my passions internally by onboarding employees and heading up our Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging efforts, employee events, and recognition and rewards programs, ultimately ensuring employees are feeling fulfilled, empowered, connected, and motivated at work.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History is American History! It’s an opportunity for us ALL to dive deeper into the foundation of who we are as a country — the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s our time also to celebrate the rich diaspora that is Black culture and that touches every facet of the world. It’s our collective opportunity to recommit our vows toward the work of social justice, being anti-racists, dismantling oppressive systems, and advancing equity for all. Each year, I challenge myself and others to soak up and embed themselves in as much Black media, books, shows, podcasts, documentaries, movies, poetry, music, and articles as they can. I myself am always surprised at what I discover in all these mediums and how my understanding and knowledge grows. I’m so proud to come from ancestors who endured so much, who survived the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and more. Strength, compassion, determination, forgiveness, and love flow through my veins — all of it passed down to me from the generations that came before. I’m so grateful we all get to take a month to celebrate, reflect, and grow our knowledge and understanding of my people. We are doomed to repeat history unless we understand it, and now, more than ever, it’s time to dig deep into our Black American History — the roots and foundation that this nation stands on. 

 


 

Name: Joy Roscoe

Title: TR Noir Co-Lead/Quality Assurance Associate 

What do you do at TaskRabbit?

My journey at TaskRabbit started almost four years ago, and I’ve had a fire in my heart for the work ever since. I am the Quality Assurance Associate supporting our business operations by feeding quality insights to supporting functions, and I co-lead TaskRabbit’s employee resource group dedicated to creating a safe place for authentic self and development of Black-identifying employees. 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month means taking time to celebrate and reflect on the trials, accomplishments, and successes of Black people and their impact on the world. There is such a rich history that can’t be consolidated into 28 days, so in considering that, I look at Black History Month as a catalyst in painting a better picture of how Black history is American history, and how our strides haven’t just impacted us as a singular group, but as society in general.  

 


 

Name: Su’ad Mohamud

Title: Software Engineer

 

What do you do at TaskRabbit?

I am a software engineer on the Marketplace Infrastructure team in the engineering department. Additionally, I am a co-lead for TR Noir, TaskRabbit’s Black affinity group, and I also serve as a member on the DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) council.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

To me, Black History Month means an unconditional love and appreciation for all forms of Blackness and identity across the African Diaspora. I think about how our Blackness permeates into every aspect of the world, and how we still have yet to uncover new and beautiful contributions or inventions that have been hidden due to societal erasure. I think about how Black resilience thrives in so many forms despite structural oppression around the world, resulting in solutions that benefit EVERYONE. I think of the sacrifices of my loving African parents and of all Black parents — their love, investment, and service to their communities and the future generations to come. 


 

This February, all of us here at TaskRabbit are proud to celebrate Black history and honor the innumerable societal contributions of Black individuals, both in the United States and around the globe. As mentioned above, this is a celebration for everyone — and a great reminder that we can always make new efforts to learn about our shared, collective history.

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