Black History Month Employee Spotlight: Emosone Sergile

By: Titus Talent Strategies

Author

Black History Month is upon us! This month we are celebrating our internal Titus employees with Black Heritage as well as placing focus on “Black Health and Wellness.”  Today we are featuring Emosone Sergile. We are so excited to share more about Emo and had the pleasure of interviewing him recently. Emosone joined our Titus team about 6 months ago and has brought his experience to the Titus team providing immediate value.   

Outside of work, Emosone is a keen rugby player and a mentor for the Boynton Beach Rugby Football Club. Boynton Rugby is a 100% volunteer driven youth non-profit recreation league, designed for economic and athletic inclusion in a fun, healthy, character-building system. Emo’s commitment to people and community is certainly inspiring and he states, “Being a role model to these boys and girls is one of the most rewarding experiences.” Boynton Rugby has given Emo an opportunity to influence young people from all walks of life. 

Emosone Sergile

Emo, what is something you LOVE about your black culture/heritage?

I am Haitian-American. Haiti was the world’s first black-led republic and the first independent Caribbean state when it threw off French colonial control and slavery in 1804. This independence is celebrated each year on January 1st. Families gather to eat soup Joumou which is a traditional dish built around, and a reminder of, what we had to eat from the land in Haiti. If you don’t eat this soup on January 1, it is said that you will have a year of bad luck.

Haitians are a prideful people. There is a high poverty rate, low income… but those things don’t matter to us. Haiti has been referred to as the “Pearl of the Antilles”, not because of its wealth but because of our resilience. We have had to stand ourselves back up time after time from gaining our independence to the constant rebuilding after natural disasters. We are always rebuilding, and we hold that resilience close to our hearts. 

You had shared a favorite motivational quote with us from a black leader that “death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss in life is what dies inside while still alive. Never surrender.” Can you tell me more about the importance of that quote? 

It means to me that no matter how hard life gets, all the trials and tribulations we experience, that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. My parents experienced so many hardships. In fact, my mom (born in 1947) and my dad (born in 1954) left Haiti separately during a time of rebellion. They came to America because they wanted a better future for themselves and wanted to have a better life for their children. They felt that America would provide their children an opportunity to be whatever they wanted to be and fought for citizenship, and received it, for our future. They came to seek stability. That quote reminds me to shine like a diamond and find that light no matter what. 

Emo, you talked about what black history month means to you. That it represents informing and listening to people within your social circle on diversity and black culture. I believe I paraphrased the following from your words stating that conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion can be uncomfortable and that keeping these conversations going can help us all be more understanding of the differences that actually can bring us together. Can you talk about what topics you believe can better educate all of us? 

I think it is important for all of us to talk about our hardships. I have shared my experiences of being singled out in school or not feeling adequate for an interview because of my color. Being vulnerable here with this next part, I even used to change my name to Emerson because I didn’t want someone to make a judgement about me thinking my name meant I was something less than. Someone at Titus, because I often go between Emerson and Emo, asked me what my real name was and I said “Emosone”. I admitted that I had chosen to go by Emerson to better blend in. Titus is a place where I truly feel I can be proud of my given name. I know that no one here is judging me or thinking of me differently.  

 I want to teach people that we should be basing our opinions of others on their character not their color.  I hope everyone sees my character. 

Okay… Muhammed Ali. You mentioned that Ali is an inspiration to you. Tell me more about that. 

Ali is a sports icon who always stood up for his beliefs. At the pinnacle of his career as a heavy weight and the “baddest” fighter around, he did what was right for him regardless of the agendas surrounding him or the politics that came with it. It’s an inspiration and reminder to me to always do what is right. 

I had to smile when I saw your response to a question around your favorite movie that celebrates black culture. Love and Basketball, huh? Tell me why… because man… I just loved that movie. 

It’s a movie about love having no barriers. Two people fell in love over their commonalities, their love of basketball, rather than focusing on their differences. What is more special than that?  

That is definitely special. Okay… last question. Who is your favorite black author and why?  

Langston Hughes. He was a larger-than-life kind of figure and I remember being influenced by his poetry in literature class. 

Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you wanted to share? 

Yes. I wanted to share what my black heritage means to me. It means being resilient. All of us have had our own battles… we are battle tested. Have the fortitude to come out of the battles and allow them to build your character. In the end, nothing can stop you if you have strong character.   

Emosone, thank you so much for sharing your story. So glad we had the opportunity to meet and expand upon some of your written responses.  

I hope you enjoyed Emo’s story as much I did. Can’t wait to share more about the amazing individuals at Titus. 

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