I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot.
Black History Month is a time to reflect and work toward a greater understanding of the Black experience for all. Because diversity is often reduced through inclusion or homogenization, many black people feel the need to either put their blackness first or choose between their history and their identity. Black culture is not monolithic anywhere in the world. It is a picture that claims all the different colors and shades of history and identity.
Black and… Exploring the Diversity of Blackness is the theme of DataRobot’s celebration of Black History Month. We recognize the pressure the black community feels when they are unconsciously forced to choose between their black identity and the intersectionality of their experience that is prevalent in today’s culture.
There are some misconceptions surrounding black people and other cultures, such as blacks and LGBTQ+, blacks and religious minorities, blacks and differently abled, etc. The whole of human identity must be recognized and incorporated into our understanding of Black culture.
Each of these identities carries its own history and culture. It is important to remember that the black cultural experience is not diminished or diminished by all these differences, but is strengthened by them. Being “black and…” It doesn’t have to be a choice of identity, but who you are as a multifaceted person. Every group you are a part of is just as important as the rest of you. One of DataRobot’s core values is Be You, which embodies our commitment to value each person as their true self.
BEACON: Changing perspectives now
At DataRobot, we strive to respect, represent and honor the Black experience with our employees through our BEACON community. BEACON stands for Black Employees and Allies Changing Outlooks Now.
Our mission says: “BEACON’s aspiration is to foster a diverse, inclusive and equitable community that fosters a culture of belonging for Black employees both now and in the future. Collaborating through a connected network of professionals, BEACON engages internal and external actions to engage, retain, empower and inspire Black employees. We are focused on providing career and growth opportunities and supporting the overall well-being and success of our Black employees.”
DataRobot is honoring Black History Month with a series of employee blogs, spotlights and a celebration highlighting these Black experiences.
About the writer
Corporate Sales Representative at DataRobot
Stephen Martin, Corporate Sales Representative for DataRobot, is Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian, Jewish, American, who identifies as straight. He is an applied cultural anthropologist who has spent the last decade applying anthropological research to technology consulting and facilitating culturally awkward discussions.
Meet Stephen Martin