In honor of Black History Month, we are amplifying the work and stories of Crossroads employees. Today we spotlight two employees at our Melrose store: Alyssa & Sarah.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Alyssa: To embrace the past, present and future of the culture, art, history and pride with love and respect.
Sarah: Representation/celebration of all the wonderful aspects of Black Culture. Not only is it a celebration, it is also an acknowledgment of all the hardships and struggles we’ve gone through and how we persevered.
Is there a Black leader or figure who inspires you?
Alyssa: As a dancer from when I was 5, Alvin Ailey was always a present figure in my life, from posters on my wall to training the style to going to classes at his academy in New York.
Sarah: Malcolm X and Rosa Parks, amongst many others, inspire me heavily. Rosa Parks, in particular, because she was so resilient and stayed strong when she faced many injustices. Same with Malcolm X. They both inspire me because they had the mindset of, “If not me, then who will?” That is something I try to implement into my lifestyle.
What is your proudest achievement?
Alyssa: Being a part of Beyoncé’s feature music video “Black Is King” was THE PROUDEST MOMENT in my life, especially because I was a dancer for the “Brown Skin Girl” segment. My chin was LIFTED the entire process.
Sarah: Definitely stepping out of my comfort zone quite frequently. Whether it be putting myself in situations that may seem scary but turn out to be beneficial.
What is your biggest goal?
Alyssa: To work for Steven Spielberg. I got somewhat close when I got the call to audition for “Westside Story,” but it was in New York, and I was already working on a project. I wish I could turn back time and put my butt on the plane.
Sarah: To become a professional dancer one day. This has been a dream of mine for a few years, and I won’t stop until I achieve it.
How has your background shaped your personal style?
Alyssa: Seeing the styles in the early 2000’s really made me pick and choose what I like, from natural hair to natural nails to then go into natural neutrals in clothes and wardrobes.
Sarah: My background has shaped my style by not letting anyone change my mindset on what suits me and how I wear it. Learning not to care about other people’s opinions when it comes to my style is so refreshing.
What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?
Alyssa: I sew, cosplay and have been using those talents towards costumes for TV and Film. Dance is my first love, but costumes will always be on the same pedestal. I honestly live two lives.
Sarah: Going to dance classes. Taking dance classes is something that I have been doing for the past 3-4 years. I mainly enjoy taking hip-hop classes at studios in LA.
What is something people may be surprised to know about you?
Alyssa: I’m a gamer and an anime weeb! Someone the other day said, “The cake is a lie,” and I know it was a reference to the game “Portal.” They were SO shocked. We talked games for 30 minutes after that.
Sarah: I am actually such an introverted and shy person.
What does “Black Joy” mean to you? What aspects of your life bring you the most joy?
Alyssa: Being unapologetically happy as a Black person. To love what you love and thoroughly enjoy it. No questions asked—point blank period. Art brings me joy. All of the art. That’s what I’m meant to do in this world. I don’t want to do art; I NEED to do art.
Sarah: Embracing wherever you come from and appreciating all the differences because that’s what makes you, you. My family and friends 100% bring me the most joy. I love being surrounded by people that I love, and that love me.