PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - The Presidio community observed Black History Month with an informative program at the Presidio of Monterey Feb. 16.

The event was part of the nationwide celebration throughout February of the contributions African Americans have made.

Sgt. Maj. Lisa Jefferson, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Army National Guard and Army Reserve liaison, spoke to the attentive crowd of students, staff and faculty members about "Black Women in American Culture and History," the theme of this year's Black History Month.

According to the Library of Congress, this year's theme honors African-American women and the myriad of roles they played in the shaping of the nation. The theme, chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History urges all Americans to study and reflect on the value of their contribution to the nation.

African-American women have played a vital role in the history of our nation and our Army since the American Revolution, said Jefferson during her presentation.

She explained that their patriotism, loyalty and leadership, coupled with their hard work, intellect and artistic expression, have enriched the African-American community and the nation as a whole.

According to a letter from Army senior leadership, the accomplishments of these exceptional women are the expressions of a vibrant culture in which African-American women play a singular role.

The letter says that the "labors, struggles, organization, and sacrifices of common women have made possible the prominence of heralded individuals. In churches, community groups, literary societies, sororities, and advocacy organizations, African-American women have been the core of organized black life, but here their strivings have often escaped the gaze of the public and hence their history is too little known."

Page last updated Thu March 1st, 2012 at 01:10