Black History Month, a time of the year to celebrate and honor the black men and women who have helped to shape our American History, and for me, my character.


I grew up in a very diverse family. Not only is our heritage contain a mixture of different cultures – African, Cherokee and Creek, but I also grew up in a blended family. A classic Brady Bunch. I am 9 of 10 kids between my two parents. And of the 10, I had two brothers who were half Black/half Irish. And branching outward, I had a host of cousins, aunts and uncles and even grandparents who represented a range of ethnicities.


Family reunions were always, and continue to be, an eclectic mix of culture and traditions.

family akins

Since elementary school, my surroundings were always diverse which many times left me among few people that looked like me. My parents, not wanting me to lose my identity and unique culture, made sure that I knew my history and learned from the character of these individuals. I was always fascinated by the stories of Black American history. In the face of great challenge, these individuals displayed their best character.

Being Black in America has not always been an easy feat, but it sure does help to have the encouragement and example of those that have gone before you. So, in honor of Black History Month, I salute the men and women of MY black history. As I have faced my own challenges throughout my life, I am often reminded of my black history heroes and their character that has helped to shape my own.

These character cards highlight each person in a high fidelity with a sepia tone overlay defined by their last name and a character trait starting with the same letter. Enjoy.


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