MacDill celebrates Black History Month

  • Published
  • By 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Team MacDill and the Department of Defense joins the nation in celebrating National African American/Black History Month during the month of February.

Black History Month started as the “Negro History Week” in 1926 and was founded by Dr. C Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History.”

He selected the second week of February because it fell between the birthdays of the famed orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the celebration expanded to include the entire month.

The theme for this year’s Black History Month observance is from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.”

The African proverb, “It takes a village,” holds true to the spirit of the culture of the Black Family. It is the village that served as the source of strength and encouragement for great pioneers like the first African Americans to travel in space, Dr. Mae Jemison and Dr. Guion S. Bluford, Jr.; General Colin Powell, the first African American to serve as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Tuskegee Airmen who fought in World War II.

These examples paved the path for the first African American Secretary of Defense, retired Army General Lloyd J. Austin, III; Air Force Captain Remoshay Nelson, who serves as the first African American female officer on the Thunderbirds Demonstration Team and Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Madeline Swegle, the Navy's first Black female strike aviator.

The Black Family is filled with diverse traditions passed on from generation to generation, which has led to the successes and achievements of military and civilian leaders who represent the African American community.

Throughout our history, Black Americans have served their communities. They have a rich tradition of honorably answering the call to duty and serving in the U.S. Armed Forces with great valor and distinction.