Black History Month started as “National Negro Week” established by historian Carter Woodson and minister Jesse Moorland in 1915. It later became a month long celebration to honor Black achievements and acknowledge the adversity faced by the Black community to this day.

In the age of social media it is easy to trivialize moments of importance. In an effort to accurately represent Black voices, we interviewed Black members of the OctoClean community. From their stories, included below, we hope you will see resilience, pride and excellence.

Black history is American history. The contributions of Black people are not confined to 28 days out of the year. Here is how you can honor Black people year round: 

  1. Use your platform to educate. 
  2. Create or update your goals and commitment to racial inclusion.
  3. Support black businesses.
  4. Collaborate with Black creators.
  5. Remind people that racial injustice still exists.

Joseph Page, OctoClean Franchise Owner

“What we can all do to honor Black history is share your knowledge. Culturally educate your kids. Even non-Blacks. Sitting down talking about cars, and women, or sports–talk about a little history. Share a little piece of you.”

Joseph Page

Alfred Young, OctoClean Franchise Owner

“Being Black to me, means that God loves me and he gave me this color and I should appreciate it.”

Alfred Young

James Gates, OctoClean Franchise Owner

“Embrace it and learn. Learn something new. The best thing we can do for Black History Month is to embrace it and grow from it and learn from it. And of course for us as Black people being proud of it.”

James Gates

Andrea Gomes, Marketing Director

“So when I hear Black History Month, I think that it is definitely cause for celebration and there’s a lot of really great, impactful leaders that deserve to be honored and remembered. But I think it’s also important to recognize that there’s still a long way for us to go.”

Andrea Gomes

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