Yongsan celebrates Black History Month
February 27, 2012
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- With the help of 8th Army Equal Opportunity Office, Yongsan garrison held it's Black History month observance celebrating the role of African American women in our nation's history at the R&R Bar and Grill, Feb. 23.
Black History month, which began as 'Negro History week' in 1926, serves to teach others about notable black figures in history. This year's observance concentrated on African American women and their roles in struggles for civil rights, women's suffrage and racial equality.
The event began with a reading of President Barack Obama's proclamation for the month, stating the importance of their work to the nation. Two Soldiers then took to the podium for a rendition of the 'Negro National Anthem' before introducing the guest speakers for the celebration.
The first guest, Col. (Ret.) William Alexander, covered the sacrifices black Soldiers and civilians have made to the Army and to the nation, from Medal of Honor awardees from the Civil War to the Woman's Army Corps in World War II. He stressed their importance to the strength of the nation's fighting force and to the fight for civil rights.
Following him, Brianna Nubine, a student at Seoul American Middle School, gave a reading of Sojourner Truth's 'Ain't I a Woman' speech, which drew a standing ovation from the crowd.
"Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it?" recited Nubine, with a heavy southern drawl, leaning on a cane for emphasis. "Intellect! That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?"
The Keynote speaker, Command Sgt. Maj. Dorothy Hernandez, command sergeant major for the 2nd Infantry Division Intelligence, was introduced to speak on the many African-American women who have played a role in our nation's history.
Each speaker was then honored by Col. Mark Elliott, the Commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Signal Brigade, and Lt. Col. Kevin Lynch, the Director, Joint Command Information Systems Activity and the event's organizer. The crowd was then invited to lunch by the R&R staff, free of charge, to top off the celebration of history.