It’s no secret that Black culture runs the world.
We possess a secret sauce that is often replicated but can never be duplicated because no other culture in the world does it quite like we do.
From fashion to music to food, Black culture is at the forefront of many industries. However, representation is not always up to par, especially when it comes to technology.
This week, AfroTech’s Will Lucas is joined by Tristan Walker, the founder and CEO of Walker & Company, which includes brands like Bevel and FORM that are specifically designed to meet both the health and beauty needs of people of color.
No stranger to being a founder, Walker is also the board chairman and founder of CODE2040, the company that matches high-performing Black and Latinx graduate and undergraduate coders and software engineers to Silicon Valley startups for internships to jump-start their careers.
During the Black Tech Green Money episode, Walker discusses the imprint he’s managed to make on Silicon Valley, the importance of Black culture in the tech space, and his decision to carve his own path by way of Atlanta.
From Silicon Valley to Atlanta
“Before I am the CEO of Walker & Company, I am a Black man. I am a Black father and I am a Black husband. So, every decision I make is in line with my personal values, which happen to match my company’s [values], but they’re in line with the personal values and the happiness of my family,” said Walker during the BTGM episode. “There are three things that I care about. My faith, my family, and my work — in that order. So, the initial decision was really driven by the first two, the faith and the family.”
As someone who has been immersed in Silicon Valley since 2008, Walker knows firsthand why diversity is important.
“It is the only place that I’ve ever lived,” he explained. “It got less diverse and cut among a bunch of different ways. Wealth, race, opportunity, etc. And, it didn’t sit too well for me.”
It was this very sentiment that encouraged Walker to take his talents and his family to Atlanta — a place that Walker says is all about “the celebration of Black economic empowerment.”
Black Culture Runs the World
During the discussion, Lucas doubles down on the opportunities that Black people have when it comes to building products for those who look like us or are experiencing life in ways that are similar to us.
“You gotta be yourself,” Walker explained. “The wonderful thing about creating things for this audience and having an employee base that represents the diversity of this audience is that we can selfishly make things for ourselves. We’re more alike than we are different. It’s not only the ingredients that go into a bottle, it’s the language that goes into that bottle. It is the imagery that we share out with the world. How do we inspire ourselves with things that we felt that we deserve to have created for ourselves?”
For More From Tristan Walker
To listen to Walker continue to break down the ways in which Black culture influences the masses from a global perspective, having a position on corporate boards, and more, click here.