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African American/Black History Month

Tuesday February 5, 2013

What is it?

February is African American/Black History Month, a time during which we honor the many contributions made by African Americans. This year, the Army will commemorate the anniversary of two important events that changed the course of this nation.

On Jan. 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation set the United States on the path of ending slavery. A century later on August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans of every creed, color and background marched on Washington, DC in the continuing pursuit of equality. They gathered at the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech.

Why is this important to the Army?

These events gave hope to the black community that change was possible. The Army story is part of the larger story of the American experience and the fight for freedom and equality for all citizens and for this great country. Over the past 237 years, African Americans have selflessly served in the Army, fighting valiantly to help secure peace for the future. Their example of courage and leadership has empowered generations of Soldiers to answer the call to duty in defense of the American way of life. The Army has long recognized the tremendous impact of uniting as brothers and sisters in arms to achieve success, and the importance of taking pause to recognize fellow Soldiers, civilians, and their families in this shared endeavor.

What has the Army done?

During African American History Month, Army leadership has encouraged the entire Army family to publicly commemorate the significant contributions of African Americans that help make the Army what it is today - the premiere fighting force in the world.

What is planned for the future?

During February, the Army will highlight and honor African American military and civil service at all levels by telling their story in command information products at all levels. The installations will have celebrations and events which will be highlighted and shared throughout the Army by the command public affairs officers.

Throughout the year, the Army will celebrate and commemorate the diversity of the Army and leverage and draw strength from the rich diversity within the military and civilian ranks by recognizing the critical role played in strengthening the nation’s presence around the world.


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