Black History Observance
Dr. Harry Hobbs, communications relations officer for the Huntsville Police Department, speaks during the 11th annual Black History Luncheon sponsored by the South Central Region Civilian Human Resources Agency.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Dr. Harry Hobbs has a unique perspective of the African American experience.

His father was white, his mother was black and he grew up in a mostly black neighborhood in the 1960s in Louisville, Ky. "I learned to do two things quite well: run and fight," he said.

Hobbs, communications relations officer for the Huntsville Police Department, was the speaker for the 11th annual Black History Luncheon sponsored by the South Central Region Civilian Human Resources Agency. An estimated 150 people attended the event Feb. 23 in the Challenger Activity Center.

"African Americans and the Civil War" is this year's national theme for Black History Month in February.

Hobbs had an ancestor that fought with distinction for the Union Army during the Civil War. He described how black Soldiers contributed to the Union's victory.

"The military has always been the social experimentation ground for this society," said Hobbs, who retired in 2007 as a chief warrant officer 5 after 30 years service.

He related an incident from 1982 when he was a young Soldier in Alabama. A victim of vandalism, he was the target of racist remarks by a law enforcement officer who responded to his call. That officer is no longer in law enforcement.

Now, three decades later, Hobbs serves as Huntsville police department's spokesman. And both his daughters are members of the military.

A central thread in his personal testimony was this: Black history is part of American history. We're all in this together regardless of color or ethnicity. Now let's move on.

"Remember," Hobbs said, "it's because of our diversity that makes this country great."

Page last updated Mon March 7th, 2011 at 15:54