March 06, 2014
By 1st Lt. Fernando Ochoa
An observance for African-American/Black History Month was held by the 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in its drill hall at the West Los Angeles headquarters Feb. 25, attended by the unit's company.
The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago in the summer of 1915 when African-Americans traveled from across the country to see exhibits highlighting the progress of their people in Washington, D.C.
Carter G. Woodson, an alumnus of the University of Chicago, worked diligently until Negro History Week was established in February of 1926.
In 1976, as part of the informal expansion of Negro History Week, Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. government and President Gerald Ford.
“I feel that celebrating the Black History Month is important because we celebrate the achievements of African-Americans throughout history and honor their important roles in shaping our country,” said Maj. Sonya Carter, 311th ESC HHC commander. “This is the perfect time to brush up on your history, appreciate diversity and learn about the accomplishments of famous and lesser-known African-Americans.”
Hosted by Staff Sgt. Teresa Beck, 311th ESC headquarters maintenance NCO, the luncheon was highlighted with a presentation of videos and demonstrations of accomplishments of prominent African-Americans.
More than 50 soldiers and civilian contractors filled the drilled hall to honor past and current African-Americans, showing a history full of pain and suffering, but also full of many accomplishments that go untaught and unnoticed.
“As soldiers of the 311th ESC, remembering leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. helps us celebrate the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America,” said Veronica L. Blackmon, Department of the Army supervisory staff operations and training officer. “As an African-American soldier, Dr. King's great dream of a vibrant, multiracial nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation, makes me work harder with my fellow soldiers.”
In President Barack Obama’s 2014 Presidential Proclamation on National African-American History Month, he stated, “As we pay tribute to the heroes, sung and unsung, of African-American history, we recall the inner strength that sustained millions in bondage. We remember the courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register their neighbors to vote.