Black History Month  Feature Image
Black History Month  Feature Image

Black History Month

Former President Barack Obama said in a 2016 speech, "Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history, or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington, or from some of our sports heroes. There are well-meaning attempts to do that all around us, from classrooms to corporate ad campaigns.  But we know that this should be more than just a commemoration of particular events. It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America. It’s about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go."

Yes, Black History Month is about Black people, but it’s for all people. It provides an opportunity for everyone to expand our knowledge and appreciation for the contributions of Black Americans to our collective culture.

While we are going to commemorate the impact some of the heroes of Black culture have had on us, we also want to amplify the experiences and perspectives of our Black colleagues. So, we reached out to members of the team to share their thoughts about what Black History Month means to them. Their voices help us to begin our celebration of Black History Month 2022 at Treyarch.

Thank you!

Mike Chubb, Art Specialist

Nelly Arnold

Black History Month is something that is very important for me to embrace and celebrate. I remember all the hard work and sacrifices of the people before me and take it as motivation and inspiration for myself.

America isn’t a perfect country, and we as citizens and human beings have a lot of reconstruction to do and actions to take. I work hard so that, one day, the next generation will have a better future. Hopefully events like BLM and other issues around race will be gone and become something we talk about in the history books.

Anthony Saunders

Greetings! I've been a Level Designer at Treyarch for nine years and have been a lead for the last two years. I really dig working with our team to create fun spaces for our players and do whatever I can to help my colleagues do the same.

I think Black History Month provides an opportunity to reflect on the fact that it's important to have the proverbial "seats at the table" include diverse faces and voices. It's important for black kids to see people that look like them represented in the media that they engage in. Even more important to see people that look like them making that media. It's cool to be a face that kids might see and maybe think to themselves, "I can do that too!"

Brittany Pirello

Hello! I’ve been a Producer for map development at Treyarch for the last five years. My passion is working with teams to craft the best and healthiest process needed to create dope stuff!

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but have the best seafood gumbo recipe passed through generations from our family in Louisiana. I remember having a big pot around the holidays, while playing Dominoes with my great grandmother and trying to learn Spades from my aunts. Games have been a major part of my life and family for as long as I can remember.

It’s great to see game development become more accessible and discussed within our communities.  This opens up so many possibilities that would have never been considered before. Growing our presence as leaders and contributors in the industry is crucial to inspiring more people to flex their creativity, and amplify their voices in a medium that’s experienced by so many.

Quinn Shelton

I work on Treyarch's Commerce Team and spend my day focusing on all things Live Ops. I’ve been with the studio for two years and have been at Activision for almost four.

Black history month is important to me because it represents a time for us to reflect on how far we have come while simultaneously acknowledging how far we have to go. Generations of women and men have made sacrifices to afford me the opportunities I enjoy today and I do my best to make the most of those opportunities. That being said, deep inequalities still exist and it is also important to me that I use my privilege to address the racial inequity that burdens millions in our communities.

Camille Ramseur

I'm a Technical Artist that focuses on shaders, rendering, and pipeline tools. I've been in the entertainment industry for five years and specifically at Treyarch for almost two years.

As a Black Woman, Black History Month resonates with me because it highlights the past and current accomplishments, and history of Black people all over. In the past a lot of our accomplishments and history were covered up to downplay what we brought to history and what we went through. Even now I'm still learning about "hidden figures" that played a key part in our history. I believe it's important to have people like us at all aspects of the pipeline to make sure that diversity of thought and ideas are represented correctly in games. As well as having strong Black characters and plots that aren't stereotypical or tokenized. When I was growing up, I never met or saw Black people that worked in the games or entertainment space, let alone technical artists. Even now the amount of Black technical artists I know can fit on one hand. I feel like it's important to share every Black story, because no matter how big or small your story might be, we are all contributing to history.

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