Why I won’t do your Black History program

Relegating the celebration of Black people and our contributions to America to one month — much less the shortest month of the year — is tantamount to celebratory tokenization.

We are worth more than 28 days

Equity and justice for all means yes, tell Black stories, and lift up the magnitude and wonder of our spectacular contribution to the formation of this entire nation. It also means that relegating said recognition to the shortest month of the year is tantamount to celebratory tokenization. My Black nonbinary contribution to your programming lineup is every bit as valuable and arguably MORE meaningful in months that don’t start with an F. Do you realize what a powerful message you send when you have a panel of Black experts speak on any given topic when it isn’t February?

Paid work versus ‘great opportunity for exposure’

Nothing communicates appreciation for Black people and our historical and ongoing contributions to society (paid and forced) like a healthy check. So, for the love of all things holy, don’t expect Black people to volunteer for everything–especially when a white person doing the same gig gets paid. I daresay it is the height of racial disrespect, particularly in Black History Month. Speakers talk to each other–even across race and gender. That’s how I learned that I was being paid a tiny fraction (5% to be precise) of what white men were being paid to keynote even though my keynotes were consistently rated higher.

Non-binary Best-Selling Author, Bias Hunter, B Corp Founder, TEDx, Inc.com Top 100 Speaker, Skier, Pleasure Activist, Blue-Haired Maverick

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