Black History Month – a special time to celebrate the important contributions and achievements made by the black community throughout our history. Here at America’s Car-Mart, we’re proud to recognize those who helped Car-Mart become the diverse company it is today.
It’s an opportunity to honor the great achievements of our African American associates. We recently asked Tramayne Ferrell, Senior Compliance Manager, at our Corporate Office, Rogers, Ark., to share her Car-Mart story and what Black History Month means to her.
First off, Tramayne is proud to be African American. “It’s who I am. Our determination and our resilience make us who we are. There’s nothing we can’t do when we put our minds to it,” says Tramayne, while adding she is appreciative of the opportunities she’s had and is having at Car-Mart.
Growing at Car-Mart
Tramayne joined Car-Mart on Feb. 11, 2013, in Conway, Ark. as an Administrative Assistant. During the interview process, she was impressed by the friendliness of Car-Mart’s associates, which piqued her interest in the company. She was further inspired when the hiring General Manager encouraged her to continue her college education while working full-time, saying, “we’re going to help you grow.”
That’s when Tramayne determined Car-Mart was the place for her. She continued taking college classes and attained her degree while working. After a year, she was promoted to Office Manager, and in 2016, she advanced to her current position.
“I love my job. I train office personnel and dealerships that need support in the dealerships’ business office. I’m a trainer, counselor, confidante, and I appreciate the opportunity to help others. That’s my calling in life,” says Tramayne, a single mom to Eugene, 20 years old.
While working full time, Tramayne earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Family & Consumer Science at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway.
Here’s more from Tramayne:
What does Black History Month mean to you? Why is it important?
It’s a time to celebrate our role in history. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come and the sacrifices we’ve had to make.
Black History Month is important because it’s an opportunity for other cultures to learn about our culture. And to remember those who paved the way for us to improve the world and communities we live in. Overall, it’s a reminder of where we’ve come from and where it is we’re going.
How will you celebrate Black History Month?
One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family. This year I am taking the initiative to learn more about my own family’s achievements and to see what small part we’ve played in our collective history.
My goal is to begin working on my family tree. It’s important to know your past, so you know where you’re headed.
How does your heritage contribute to the person you are today?
My family is my inspiration. We’ve all overcome challenges.
If I didn’t have strong black role models, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I learned so much from my mother and grandmother. They showed me what determination is. They taught me there’s nothing in life that can’t be accomplished. They taught me not to let circumstances define me and that I can be whoever I want to be. They are the reason I am who I am.
What’s something you love about your heritage?
I love everything, especially our uniqueness, from the different complexions and shades of our skin to the different textures of our hair. I remember when Eugene, my son, was five years old, he came home from school one day and, while telling me what he had learned in school, said, “Nama (his great-grandmother) is white, you’re brown, and I’m black. Like crayons.”
To me, this was insightful because, at that age, he didn’t understand the concept of race and had correlated our complexions to the colors in his crayon box. We should all take that approach and look at race like a crayon box; we are all crayons in a box, and we need each other to create a beautiful picture.
What career advice do you have for other African Americans?
Don’t let anyone stop you from becoming who or what you want to be. You determine your own fate.
Who is an inspirational Black historical figure who inspires you and why?
I’m challenging myself this year to learn more about our historical black heroes, especially those who are not so prominent. This year I am learning about Ruby Bridges, a civil rights activist. In 1960, she was the first African American child to desegregate an elementary school in New Orleans. She was six years old and was escorted into the school by U.S. Marshalls while a group of protesters stood outside, hoping to prevent Ruby from entering the school. Yet, she looked so confident and brave.
If Ruby can do that, there should be no challenge in my life that I can’t overcome.
What can we do to create a more inclusive world?
If we have the same mindset as my five-year-old son of looking at people – that would go a long way in creating harmony. We are just colors in a crayon box. We are no different. And if we love each other like we love ourselves, and if we are open to other’s ideas and opinions – that would improve our world.
Join our team!
If you’re awesome and want to work with awesome people like Tramayne, come work at Car-Mart. Go to Car-Mart.com/careers to learn about job opportunities at Car-Mart in our 12-state area.