February 07, 2014
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Winn-Dixie District Director Cheikh Mboup​

Winn-Dixie District Director Cheikh Mboup is from Senegal in Africa, but he says he easily recognizes that Black History Month is about everyone’s American history.

“When you think of the history of our nation, Black History Month has an impact on it,” he said.

From a civil rights perspective, black history is all about freedom, he said. Because of the work of Civil Rights movement, more people can fully enjoy the rights and benefits of American citizenship, he said.

“It significantly demonstrates how united the United States can be. We might think the civil rights movement only affected and involved one ethnicity, but it was efforts and marches that were participated in by all walks of life.”

Mboup said an example of how black history benefits everyone – particularly the grocery industry – may not be known by everyone. Frederick McKinley Jones was an African-American inventor who won the National Medal of Technology. One of his more broadly-known inventions was his work in refrigeration. In 1940, he patented a portable air-cooling unit for trucks carrying food, and his invention has revolutionized life ever since.

“Because of his invention, we can move fresh foods all over the country,” he said.

Recognizing Black History Month is one excellent way for Winn-Dixie and BI-LO stores to underscore support to their communities, he said.

“I’ve been walking stores and I see what it means to me – it’s beyond race,” Mboup said. “It shows democracy and respect for another kind at their best. We cannot pass on an opportunity to show our commitment to our communities. This is one vehicle.”

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