CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - U.S. KFOR Soldiers of Multi-National Battle Group Soldiers kicked off Black History Month here Feb. 5 by holding a special program titled "The History of Black Economic Empowerment" and by honoring Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the founder of Black History month in the U.S. More than 60 people attended the program, held at Camp Bondsteel's Audie Murphy Medal of Honor Hall. The event was the first of several planned by MNBG-E Soldiers to honor and get a better education on Black History.

Six Soldiers spoke at the event led by 1st Lt. Dante Steadmon, 2-147th Aviation Battalion of the Kentucky National Guard. He was joined by Sgt. Latisha Nickerson, Task Force Med from Kosciusko, Miss.; Sgt. Bryson Yarbrough, 2-147th AV BN in Kentucky; Sgt. Keith Lang, a North Carolina native with the 777th Support Battalion; and Lt. Col. John Elzie, Task Force Med from Olive Branch, Miss. Topics ranged from the significance of the National Urban League and Black economic empowerment to the origin of Black History Month and the lives of Dr. Woodson and Dr. John Henrik Clarke, an American writer, historian, professor, and a pioneer in the creation of "Africana Studies" and professional institutions in Pan American academia.

Steadmon thanked all in attendance "for allowing us to further your knowledge of "American Black History."

MNBG-E Commander Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann also was in attendance and gave his impressions on the significance of Black history in America. "Changing a person's mind, changing a person's heart takes time," Dohrmann said. "We have truly come a long way. Black History month is an important part of our history in America."

Dohrmann closed by making parallels to American past struggles for civil rights and NATO's KFOR mission in Kosovo. "In both cases, we have made great progress, but there is much left to do," he said. "Less than a month ago, we celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I think he would be delighted at our bridge-building efforts here, where people from different backgrounds gather together to help others move forward."

Multi-National Battle Group - East is a U.S-led task force commanded by Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This Battle Group is comprised of nearly 2,200 Soldiers, including Task Force Hellas and Task Force POL/UKR (Polish/Ukraine). The charter mission of MNBG-E is maintaining a Safe and Secure Environment and providing Freedom of Movement for the people in Kosovo.

Page last updated Sun February 7th, 2010 at 10:52