NWA Recognizes National Black History Month

In honor of National Black History Month, the NWA Diversity Committee would like to invite you to celebrate, learn, and participate in events throughout this month to honor those African Americans who have been trailblazers in the field of meteorology; those who continue their contributions to the advancement of our field; and to the developing, ambitious, up and coming new generation of operational meteorologists.

The umbrella consists of 35 highlighted names of notable African Americans in the meteorology field past and present. While it absolutely is not a complete list, it does contain many with “firsts” in the field. The colors chosen are representative of traditional African colors rich in symbolism and heritage.

The shape of the umbrella was utilized not only for a weather theme to the graphic, but for a few other reasons. Umbrellas can be viewed as a sign of progress and protection; they also are a sign of privilege in thinking of U.S. Southern culture.

On the flip side of privilege, the use of an umbrella has been seen as protection in protests. This occurred most recently in protests against police brutality in Seattle in 2020. This stood out significantly because Seattleites do not use umbrellas given their weather and climate.

Typically, you can easily point out the transplants or tourists by their use of an umbrella when it is rainy. The umbrella is prominent in Creole culture in Second Line parade traditions celebrating life especially in the city of New Orleans. On this note, the design acknowledges the current state we are in with the continuing COVID pandemic and traditional gatherings being canceled such as Mardi Gras and Carnival.

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