What Black History Month Means To Us

February 13, 2024

Each year in February,  the Ebony & Allies ERG, along with millions of others across the U.S., take a moment to pause, recognize, and honor Black historical figures and profound milestones that are indelible to American history. It's a time of deep reflection and appreciation for what our ancestors endured and had to overcome in their fight for equality. Here at G2, we also take this time to celebrate the Black employees within our work community and create space to share our stories.

For those who are not familiar with Black History month, its origins go back to 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH)  announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of two important figures to the Black community—Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and Frederick Douglass on February 14. It grew in popularity throughout the following decades, with cities across the United States endorsing it as a holiday.

Fast forward to February 1969 when Black educators and Black United Students at Kent State University first proposed Black History Month. Over the next six years later, Black History Month gained traction at educational institutions and cities across the U.S. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."

Today, Black History Month is recognized and celebrated in many aspects of society—media and entertainment, politics, education, and business. It’s not only celebrated across the U.S. but also worldwide; —in February in Canada and October in the UK and Ireland. 

For me, Black History Month is personally important because it’s a time to recognize the achievements of Black people, including those of teammates and colleagues here at G2. As a co-lead of the Ebony & Allies ERG, I wanted to use this platform and this moment to spotlight the members of our ERG. In celebration of this month, I asked  the Ebony G2ers: “What does Black History Month represent to you? and What does diversity mean to you?

Sarah Erwin
Talent Acquisition Manager

Black History Month is a reminder to celebrate the resilience, achievements, and cultural contributions of the Black community. It represents a dedicated time to honor the impact Black individuals have had throughout history, fostering awareness and appreciation for their stories and accomplishments.

Diversity is the vibrant mix of perspectives and experiences that enrich our world, recognizing that each unique voice contributes to a more dynamic narrative, fostering understanding, empathy, and interconnectedness.

Kirstin (KP) Powdrill

Events Specialist

Black History Month is celebrating my melanin and the accomplishments of Black creators, trailblazers, and entrepreneurs.

Diversity is intentionally representing and advocating for people of different races, genders, and backgrounds.

Nick Washington
Senior Product Support Specialist, Ebony & Allies Co-Lead

Black History Month represents celebrating the achievements of our Black leaders, activists, and everyday people who paved and continue to pave the way for the Black community.

Diversity means embracing, recognizing, and valuing other people's differences. This includes promoting inclusivity and representation for all individuals.

Laura Wize

Customer Support

Black History Month is a time that I reflect and show appreciation for Black Culture within the American experience. It’s a time to showcase how the contributions of my community have enhanced the overall American landscape.

Diversity is like the secret sauce that spices up our corporate vibe. It's not just about having different folks around—it's an opportunity to blend in those unique perspectives that turn our space into a melting pot of awesomeness.

Gina Simpson
Executive Assistant to the CRO

For me, Black History Month is the celebration of Black people for their achievements and roles in U.S. history. But it also represents how far we still have to go in this country’s education system with integrating Black history in our history books. Why is it still just celebrated / taught in schools one month out of the year?

Diversity means different but in the same place. Having a range of people with different backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, gender identifies, political or religious beliefs.

Matthew Williams

Software Engineer I

Black History Month is celebrating the resilience of people of color and our ability to succeed despite our environment or circumstances.

Diversity means the  inclusion of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and intelligence types.

Alanna Iwuh
Market Research Analyst, Ebony & Allies Co-Lead

Black History Month is a time of honoring and commemorating the past through reflection and celebration of Black people in order to appreciate the gravity of our present contributions to today's society.

True diversity to me is a celebration and appreciation of the unique qualities that intrinsically make us different. It encompasses not only the internal aspects of our identities—such as our thoughts, experiences, and perspectives—but also the external qualities that are visually distinct, such as our appearance, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds.

Jarrid Evans


Black History Month is Empowerment, Belonging, Power. 

Diversity is people from different walks of life being afforded the same opportunity as anyone else regardless of race, religion, gender, and ethnicity.

JaKayla D. Lathon
Market Research Analyst

Black History Month represents a time of celebration, education and remembrance. We remember the generations that came before us and celebrate their contributions. In addition, it's a time to celebrate the current generation and their achievements. As a lover of learning, it's amazing for me to hear of new discoveries within my community.

For me, diversity is the quality of being unique, and that's what sets you apart.

Erin Boyd
Customer Education and Marketing Manager

Black History Month represents the struggle for equality and, ultimately, recognition of the achievements for Black people. The month is an important reminder of the need for diversity, inclusion, and understanding in society.

Diversity means acknowledging the strength and richness that comes from unique human experiences and creating spaces where everyone feels included.

Being able to celebrate Black History Month at G2 goes beyond just the performative expectations of DEI. To me, this is what true DEI work is— creating an enabling environment where people from different backgrounds and identities have a voice, access to opportunities, and embrace diversity of thought at all levels. I hope you will join me in honoring Black History Month and also take some time to celebrate with your personal and work communities as well. 

What Black History Month Means To Us Each year in February, the Ebony & Allies ERG, along with millions of others across the U.S., take a moment to pause, recognize, and honor Black historical figures and profound milestones that are indelible to American history. This month we are spotlighting the members of the Ebony & Allies ERG as they share what Black History Month means to them. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/Black%20History%2024.png
Folake Olatoye-Ojo Folake Olatoye-Ojo is a Snr. Technical Support Specialist at G2. Originally from Nigeria, she has a Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. She is a co-lead of the Ebony & Allies ERG at G2 and is very passionate about education and equal opportunities for underrepresented groups. When she is not working, Folake enjoys trying new recipes (both cooking and eating), watching k-drama, and spending time with family. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/folake-olatoye-ojo-v2.jpg