Our Global I-NNOVATOR Rudy Miles defines Black excellence:
"Black excellence to me is owning your oxygen in the room. It means wherever your feet can take you, you belong but with that space comes an opportunity and an obligation to be good and to be great." - Rudy Miles
Black History Month was created in February 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, known as the "father of Black history." Black History Month falls in February because it coincides with the birthdates of both former US President Abraham Lincoln and social reformer Frederick Douglass. Both men played a significant role in helping to end slavery.
"Black History Month is simply an opportunity to put focus on the contributions, large and small, that Black people have made to the fiber, shape and success of this country. I obviously LIVE black history every day of my life. I can’t say I “do” anything differently for Black History Month however I will be reading (audio) Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley; truly black excellence in spaces black folks rarely navigate so fully: high fashion!" - Rudy Miles
The month of February is seen as a celebration of those who've impacted not just the country but the world with their activism and achievements. Black history Month offers an opportunity to reimagine what possibilities lie ahead.
"I do often think about the names and stories that haven’t been told. The bravery of all those who walked before me in spaces that they had to fight for the right to exist in by simply being human and Black. Most people know of Rosa Parks, fewer people know of Claudette Colvin, for example." - Rudy Miles
Claudette Colvin was 15 when she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person on a crowded segregated bus. She was arrested for this act 9 month prior to Rosa Parks arrest.
"As a child, I remember my class had to do book reports for Black History Month and then present an essay about our subject matter. What I loved about it was that we learned about Black greats that many of us never heard of. What it did for me was teach me that Black history and the Black story did not begin with slavery. Slavery isn’t the Black story. That one thing is what I hope people explore for Black History Month; that one narrative especially." - Rudy Miles