The deputy to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker issued a call to action during the annual Black History Month Luncheon Feb. 27 at The Landing.William G. Kidd asked the hundreds in attendance to do more than enjoy a good meal and listen to a great guest speaker, he asked people to think.Kidd spoke briefly about the impact of African Americans in the U.S., the Army and Army Aviation, including Eugene Bullard, the first African-American pilot; CW4 James Delaney, the first African-American Army Aviation helicopter pilot; and retired Lt. Col. Marcella Ng, who became the first female African-American pilot in Army Aviation when she was 2nd Lt. Marcella Hayes in 1979.Then came the call to action."I would ask you to not just say, 'OK, that was interesting,'" he said. "Take what you've learned today and think about what these folks did and what that means to us, but also think about what they didn't do."When these folks went up in the air or went down on a jungle penetrator to pick up wounded Soldiers, or whatever they did as Army Aviators, what they didn't do is ask, 'Are you like me? Who do you love? What church do you go to? What's your political affiliation?' They didn't ask those questions -- they just did their job," Kidd said. "They reached out a little harder even though the odds were stacked against them."So, what I want to ask you to do is take a little bit of that with you because it's not done by miles and thousands of miles, its feet and inches that make a difference in what we do here," he added. "Every one of us owes it to those people who we're going to honor today to take that back and try to be a little bit more than we were before we came in here today."Attendees were then treated to a performance by the Enterprise State Community College Choir, a reading of Reverend William Holmes Borders' poem, "I am -- Somebody," by 9-year old Aiden Williams, and then words from guest speaker William E. "Bill" Cooper, mayor of Enterprise, who began his speech by referencing the theme of the luncheon."Honoring the Past and Securing the Future -- we look back at the African American journey with pride, strength and determination, and honor our forefathers who achieved the progress that we know today," Cooper said. "There will always be sadness when we think about the suffering and sacrifices that they endured along the way."African Americans endured oppression, untold hardships, poverty and discrimination, and as the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'They have crossed the rough terrain and turned the crooked corners; however, there are still corners to turn and rough ground to cross.' But our history shows we have come a long, long way."The black race has come a long way -- from the cotton field to the White House, from no house to mo' house, from the shanty houses under the hill to the brick houses on the hill," the mayor added. "But we must learn how to live among ourselves. There's too much violence in the black community. We need to align ourselves with the four Bs: brains, books, bucks and the ballot."Brains means that you must learn how to think for yourself. There's no hope in dope," he said. "Books means you must learn how to read and understand what you have read. Bucks means that you must work hard, save your money, buy some land or buy a house. And, of course, the ballot. That means that you go and register to vote, and when the time comes exercise that right."Cooper then spoke about some of the challenges he faced in becoming the first African-American city council member of Enterprise and then the first African-American mayor of the city, and also his experiences with the civil rights movement."We have lived through some tough times in the African-American community," he said. "The African-American people have gone through a lot of trials and tribulations, but as I stand before you today, 420 years after 20 blacks landed in Jamestown, Virginia; 150 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation; and 65 years after the Supreme Court banned segregation in public schools, I was elected to the Enterprise city council."It wasn't easy, but when you have God as your pilot, he will make a way out of no way," Cooper said.