Celebrating Black History Month

During Black History Month, we pause to celebrate and understand Black histories. This year’s theme is Black Resistance. This theme is a reminder to everyone of all the ways that Black Americans have experienced oppression in all forms throughout history. 

The 1950s and 1970s in the United States was defined by actions such as sit-ins, boycotts, walk outs, strikes by Black people and White allies in the fight for justice against discrimination in all sectors of society — from employment to education to housing. Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all.

Systematic oppression has sought to negate much of the dreams of our griots, like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, and our freedom fighters, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou Hamer fought to realize. Black people have sought ways to nurture and protect Black lives, and for autonomy of their physical and intellectual bodies through armed resistance, voluntary emigration, nonviolence, education, literature, sports, media, and legislation/politics. Black-led institutions and affiliations have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success.

Celebrating Important Black Tech Pioneers

This month, we are highlighting and celebrating important Black tech pioneers that shaped history in mathematics, science, and technology.

Melba Roy Mouton (1929–1990)

Melba Roy Mouton (1929–1990)

American mathematician

Dr. Gladys West (1930–Present)

Dr. Gladys West (1930–Present)

American mathematician

Katherine Johnson (1918–2020)

Katherine Johnson (1918–2020)

American mathematician

Mary Jackson (1921–2005)

Mary Jackson (1921–2005)

American mathematician and aerospace engineer

Constance Baker Motley (1921–2005)

Constance Baker Motley (1921–2005)

American jurist and politician

Annie Easley (1933–2011)

Annie Easley (1933–2011)

American Computer Scientist

Evelyn Boyd Granville (1924–Present)

Evelyn Boyd Granville (1924–Present)

American Mathematician

Important Facts 

  • Every year, ASALH selects an overarching theme for Black History Month. The very first Black History Month theme was Civilization: A World Achievement. The 2023 Black History Month theme is Black Resistance. Black Resistance shines a light on historic and modern oppressions against African Americans. Advocating for equity has long been a form of resistance. Resisting acts of discrimination, injustices, and racism plays a critical role in African Americans’ well-being.
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were established to provide higher education opportunities to Black Americans. Established in 1837, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania was the very first HBCU. Today, over 100 HBCUs exist.
    HBCUs, established before 1964, honor their mission to educate Black Americans. HBCUs teach Black history, recognize and honor Black American experiences, and uplift the rights of and needs within Black communities.
  • The month-long celebration may have started in the United States, but it’s recognized in Canada as well. Additionally, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands celebrate it in October.

The Importance of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging in Product Management

As product leaders, we have the incredible requirement to build products that will shape and alter society for the better. The question at hand is, are we building for everyone?

Ronke Majekodunmi

Product Leader

Our Speakers and Community

Honoring and uplifting the voices and contributions of black speakers and community members during Black History Month.

Cyronne Counts

Cyronne Counts

Director of Programs, Women In Product

Julie Wenah

Julie Wenah

Associate General Counsel and Product Lead, Civil Rights, Meta • Board of Directors, Women In Product

Shanea Leven

Shanea Leven

Founder & CEO, CodeSee

Brittany Edwards

Brittany Edwards

Co-Founder, IncorpHERated

Tosin Adeniji

Tosin Adeniji

Product Lead, Affirm

Ngozi Ofoche

Ngozi Ofoche

Reality Labs Privacy Product Specialist, Meta

Sydni Craig-Hart

Sydni Craig-Hart

CEO, Smart Simple Marketing

Erin Teague

Erin Teague

Director and Global Head of Sports, Movies and Shows Product Management, Youtube

Lisha Bell

Lisha Bell

Economic Opportunity Fund Manager, PayPal

Maryanna Quigless

Maryanna Quigless

Director of Product Management, Meta

Mave Houston

Mave Houston

Head of UXR, Disney

Ivor Horn

Ivor Horn

Chief Health Equity Officer, Google

Jasmine Lawrence

Jasmine Lawrence

Senior Product Manager, Everyday Robots

Melika Hope

Melika Hope

Product Management leader

Tara King-Hughes

Tara King-Hughes

Vice President of Tech and Innovation, Vital Voices Global Partnerships

Kasha Stewart

Kasha Stewart

Director of Product, Adobe

Laura Teclmarium

Laura Teclmarium

Senior Director of Product Management, LinkedIn

Lisa Gelobter

Lisa Gelobter

CEO and Founder, tEQuitable

Adesola Sanusi

Adesola Sanusi

Chief of Staff, Okra

Ronke Majekodunmi

Ronke Majekodunmi

Director of Product Management, Promevo

Joan Walters

Joan Walters

Senior Product Manager, AI Heyday by Hootsuite

Ebony Shears

Ebony Shears

Group Head of Product, North America, Sportradar

Cori Shearer

Cori Shearer

Senior Product Manager, Growth, Headspace

Yvette Lapompe

Yvette Lapompe

Director of Product, PREMION

Nonya Collier

Nonya Collier

Sr. Manager, Global Product Commercialization for Inclusive Hiring, Indeed.com

Yetunde Dada

Yetunde Dada

Director of Product Management, QuantumBlack

Britney Morgan

Britney Morgan

Head of Product, Mae

Safiya U. Noble

Safiya U. Noble

Professor, UCLA

Mamuna Oladipo

Mamuna Oladipo

VP of Product, Shopify

Malaika Paquiot

Malaika Paquiot

Avalanche Insights Chief Product Insights

Jazmin Tanner

Jazmin Tanner

Lead Product Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

Monica Ugwi

Monica Ugwi

VP, Head of Product + UX + Docs, RudderStack

Maxine Williams

Maxine Williams

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Meta