TRX Coach Quincy Williams’s top priority when working with clients is to empower his community to seek out a healthy mindset in addition to a healthy body. For Williams, the founder of Q Fitness in Columbus, Ohio, better communication is the answer—in both matters of wellness and life in general. But honest conversations don’t start and end with fitness; they should extend to all corners of our lives, including the civil rights protests that have been sweeping the country for years, and cultural events like Black History Month.
“Black History Month is important to me as we have more eyes on this important subject, and it gives me the opportunity to engage in much-needed healthy conversations about the true history of African Americans; not just with my kids, but with everyone,” Williams said. “I not only get to share stories, but also get to further educate myself on the history of my ancestors and civil rights heroes.”
Black History Month grew out of a program credited to Black historian Carter G. Woodson. Woodson, a Harvard-educated scholar known as “the father of Black history,” was disturbed that Black Americans’ accomplishments were left out of the history books, so he took on the monumental task of documenting the role of Black people in American history. He developed Negro History Week in 1926, and in 1976, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History Month.
The Black experience and Black voices have been a popular topic in media over the last year, but it’s critical that we recognize that these stories have been marginalized and overlooked through most of American history. Williams believes that these conversations are necessary as we try to grow in this moment. “As we pursue greater diversity and inclusion in our community, I believe that it is so important to build a dialogue around Black history, racial injustices, systemic oppression, and more—this month and every month,” he said.
In true coaching fashion, Williams’s approach to Black History Month also comes with a challenge. (Hey, no one improves just by watching a trainer demonstrate a move; each individual has to put in the work.) “My question to everyone is this: What does Black History Month mean to you? Because in order to continue uplifting black voices in the community, it begins with you.”
At TRX, we believe in celebrating our diverse family of trainers, staff, and customers. We want to elevate Black trainers, in particular, during Black History Month, but we also encourage our community to learn about Black history and explore our responsibilities in racial reconciliation beyond February. If you choose to celebrate this month by reading more about Black history or systemic racism, purchase a book on the topic directly from a Black-owned bookstore. If you utilize the Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture’s resources, consider making a donation to the museum’s incredible programming. And whether you’re patronizing Black-owned businesses or kicking off an educational journey, let Black History Month be the start of continual growth, instead of a month-long break from the status quo. As Williams said, it begins with you.