Black History Month: What it means to me

6 NOAA employees reflect on Black history past, present and future

Black History Month illustration.

Black History Month illustration. (Image credit: Getty Images)

February is National Black History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of Black Americans and their myriad contributions to all aspects of American culture and progress. 

Black history is America’s history.

“While representation matters every day, Black History Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate our many achievements throughout our nation’s history, as well as sharing our collective stories and experiences,” writes Michael Morgan, NOAA’s assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction.

In this same spirit of sharing, meet 6 NOAA employees in this Commerce Department video series, and hear their answers to the question:

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Dakari Anderson: Meteorologist, NOAA National Weather Service 

As a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fairbanks, Alaska, Dakari Anderson loves to help people and to connect with the public. He shares with us how bell hooks, an influential Black writer, inspires him.

Patricia Brown: Diversity and inclusion manager, NOAA National Weather Service

Patricia Brown is the diversity and inclusion manager for NOAA’s National Weather Service. She shares her thoughts on Warren M. Washington, an African American trailblazer and internationally recognized expert on atmospheric science and climate research, and what she values about her career at NOAA.

 DaNa Carlis: Director, NOAA Severe Storms Laboratory

DaNa Carlis, director of NOAA’s Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, reflects on values that his parents instilled in him, including the importance of education and hard work. He also describes how he is inspired by the civil rights leaders and freedom fighters who fought against discrimination, inequality and racism.

Amara Davis: Outreach coordinator, NOAA National Sea Grant College Program

Outreach coordinator Amara Davis is a second-generation public servant, who is proud of the work that she does to create space for underrepresented people through NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. Find out more about Amara and the work that she does for NOAA.

John Hurley: Meteorologist-In-Charge, NOAA National Weather Service

John Hurley, Meteorologist-In Charge of the Minneapolis Center Weather Service Unit, reflects on the contributions of Charles E. Anderson, the first African American to earn his Ph.D. in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Chanelle Stigger: Meteorologist, NOAA National Weather Service 

"Black history month is a time to recognize current and past achievements in the Black community,” says Lake Charles National Weather Service meteorologist Chanelle Stigger. Find out who inspires Chanelle, and how she fulfills her passion and the NWS mission.