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African American Heritage Month

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. --

African American History Month, also referred to as Black History Month, is celebrated every February. In observance of the month, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) developed a poster that homage to Soldiers from A Company, 452nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery, one of the U.S. Army’s Black-only combat units which served during WWII. The poster is the first in a series commemorating the 75th Anniversary of WWII. The DEOMI theme is “Honoring the Past, Securing the Future!”    

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sets the national theme. This year's theme is “African Americans and the Right to Vote,” which speaks to the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and women for the right to vote. Through voting-rights campaigns and legal suits from the turn of the 20th century to the mid-1960s, African Americans made their voices heard as to the importance of the vote. According to the ASALH website, the theme of the right to vote may also include the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties.

The year 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of WWII, is the centennial of the 19th Amendment (granted American women the right to vote) and is the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement.  It also marks the sesquicentennial of the 15th Amendment and the right of black men to vote after the Civil War.  The 15th amendment prohibits the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's race, color or previous condition of servitude.

In observance of African American History Month, events planned for Westover ARB are:

  • Saturday, Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m., Movie (Tuskegee Airmen) and Talent Night at Westover Conference Center 
  • Thursday, Feb. 13 at 1:30 p.m., a Black History Program will be held in the Wing Headquarters, building 1850, in the Civilian Personnel Training Room 

Information taken from www.deomi.org and www.asalh.org                                                                              

Submitted by Dr. Annette Peartree-Mandley, Special Emphasis Program Manager, 413-557-7139