Black History Month
Friday, Feb 18, 2022, 07:20 AM
The impact of Black Americans can be felt across the fabric of our nation, including within the halls, stands and pitches at Austin FC. In honor of Black History Month, Austin FC will lift the voices of leaders in our community in celebration and acknowledgement of the work being done to strengthen our city.
Owner, Black Pearl Books (Austin’s Only Black-owned Bookstore) / Historian / Educator
Graduate of Clark Atlanta University
How does the Austin community grow in its connectivity with one another?
In Austin, I see it as grassroots. We have different organizations, non-profits trying to bring people together, intentionally. Austin as a city lacks diversity in so many ways, it only becomes that with folks building and making it what we need it to be.
The experience and opportunity of being the only…
“We are, intentionally or unintentionally, somebody else’s standard. Someone is looking at us saying, “I can do that, I can be that” because I see this person doing it. That’s an unintentional beauty of what we’re doing.”
As a Leader, are you called to do specific things or is it innate?
For me, it’s innate. I see it as this fluid thing where anybody can contribute, you are just trying to serve in your moment.
Why are places and activities that encourage diversity important?
What we do, it’s about connectivity, bringing people together from different backgrounds, different cultures, races, socio-economic classes…very much like sports. You go to a (sports venue) and you see everyone there. That is used as a catalyst as a way for people to come together and start to recognize their similarities vs their differences…When you can connect on how you are similar, you can begin to value how people are different. As you start to value differences, there’s also this sense of empathy that happens. It allows you to connect with another person’s story and experience something that you probably will never experience…by being in these types of spaces, it allows you to think differently about other people’s situations.
Explain the power that books have:
There’s a sense of EMPOWERMENT when a young person can pick up a book and see themselves represented…
Why is the annual celebration of Black History important?
Black history is American history. The reason why we have to segregate Black history is because, traditionally, it has not been included in American history.
How can Austin FC follow in your footsteps in being a place that makes our community stronger?
The biggest thing is being authentic with it. Many companies miss out on the authenticity part; what is your why? If you’re just checking a box, that comes across. As a company, you can have the heart for something. Whatever you’re doing, there’s no one path or right path, but it’s being authentic in what you’re pursuing.