As I’ve gotten older, how I view Black History Month has changed. As a child, it was that time every year that we talked about the same 4 or 5 key figures in the Civil Rights movement in school. Occasionally, a special essay or project was assigned to create a poster highlighting one of those people and their role in advancing Black people towards equality in America. It was a very similar experience shared by many of us who went to grade school in the ’80s and ‘90s.
It’s Friday morning and your alarm rings. You open your eyes and awaken from a deep sleep. As your feet hit the cool ground, you reach for your phone on the nightstand and queue up your Friday playlist. “Get Ready” by The Temptations begins to play on your speakers as you start your morning routine.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I wish every morning could begin like that. I’m lucky if I can get out of bed without snoozing my alarm multiple times. Although I’m not much of a morning person, listening to music after waking up always puts a little more pep in my step.
I’m a project manager and a chronic people pleaser, so I’ve always taken on a lot of responsibilities. Strategist, resource trafficker, inbox junkie, cheerleader and sometimes perpetual thorn in your side, to name a few. In normal times, I had to be organized, thick-skinned, a creative problem solver, great communicator, emotionally intelligent and able to inspire teams to get things done.
But “normal times” went out the window on March 13, 2020.
As the world halted last year and people began spending more time than ever staring at their phones, social media platforms wasted no time releasing new features. Some provided new ways to give back, like Instagram’s Support Small Business button, and some were launched early to test features while platforms had a captivated audience, like Twitter’s Fleets. Amid the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram launched Guides, a feature designed to provide mental health resources and aid exclusively for health and well organizations.
In the age of 5G and endless Zoom meetings, we’re digitally connecting with people and brands more each day, especially on our phones. Mobile commerce growth that was projected to take 2 to 3 years took place over a matter of months in 2020, and the average consumer spent 27% of daily waking hours on mobile in April 2020 — up 20% from 2019.
“I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”
Just a day before his assassination on April 4th, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words in his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”