Vance celebrates Black, African-American Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jennifer Grieg
  • Equal Opportunity
This year's Black History Month national theme is "The Quest for Black Citizenship in America." As we begin celebrating Black/African-American History Month this February, it is important to remember the struggle for citizenship and equal treatment in America that blacks and African-Americans of our past endured for the sake of a better future for their descendants.

This year's theme is focused to bring a greater awareness and appreciation of the struggle endured by many. This year's theme, and the definition of citizenship, is the epitome of what blacks/African-Americans have hoped to achieve. However, for years they were not afforded the same rights as citizens of other national origins or color.

With African-Americans being disenfranchised and segregated, lynched and assaulted, uneducated or miseducated, and casually slandered, figures like Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Barbara Jordan, along with the diversified organizational members of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, spoke of and demanded change that would secure equal treatment and social justice for blacks and African-Americans.

Committed to the struggle and armed with hope, many worked in the movement for full citizenship. The personal risks were of little importance to them because much was at stake. Many were killed or severely injured as a result of their immoveable stance.

The inauguration of President Barack Obama as the first American president of African descent has marked a pivotal accomplishment in American history and in African-American history. 

As history has shown, such an accomplishment would not have been possible without the marches, sit-ins, bus boycotts, Supreme Court decisions, amendments to laws, and of most significance, the lives lost as a result of the quest for black citizenship in America. 

President Obama said it best in a campaign speech asking America to rise up and work together for a better tomorrow. He said that "We are the change that we seek." This quote is reflected on this year's Black History Month poster, illustrated by Peter Hemmer, of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at Patrick AFB, Fla.

In celebration of Black/African-American history this year, the 71st Medical Group planned the following events:

1) 5K Fun Run, 11 a.m., Feb. 6, at the base Fitness Center. Runners sign up free of charge 11 a.m., Friday, with the run starting at 11:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finishers. Water and fruit will be provided. Walkers and strollers are welcome. For more information, call 213-7901.

2) African-American Heritage month luncheon, noon, Feb. 12, at the Vance Collocated Club

3) A soul-food experience, 11:30 a.m., Feb. 20, at the Health and Wellness Center 

4) Blood pressure checks, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Feb. 27, at the commissary

All events are planned and organized by the 71st Medical Group. For information, please contact Rhonda Patton 213-7494.