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News > Why should we celebrate Black History Month?
Why should we celebrate Black History Month?

Posted 2/10/2012   Updated 2/10/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Master Sgt. William Peoples
62nd Maintenance Operations Squadron

2/10/2012 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Black History Month, has been a February tradition in the U.S. for eight decades. It is a time for Americans to reflect on the history and teachings of African Americans -- a month when people can witness to the progress, richness and diversity of African American achievement.

In 1915, historian Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Through this organization he began pressing for a "Negro History Week" to explore the contributions of black Americans. This dream became a reality 1926, but it took 50 years for the renamed Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History to expand the week into Black History Month.

It gives me an opportunity to salute African-American men and women who have served in the military. These pioneers played a vital role in the African-American struggle for freedom, justice and advancement in our society. For others, including the U.S. Air Force, Black History Month creates awareness and appreciation for diversity. Prominent African-American Air Force members' names like the Tuskegee Airmen, Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James Jr. and others dot the Air Force landscape today as a testament.

As you prepare for the spirit-enriched activities and social gatherings this month, take advantage of the wonderful opportunities our forefathers fought for to promote culture, racial harmony and continued remembrance of African- Americans' contributions. I urge everyone to reflect, not dwell on the past, and search their inner souls to see what they can do to make tomorrow better than today. It's a small price to pay, knowing we are in debt to those great African-American leaders who have gone before us, for the quality of life and freedoms we enjoy today.

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