February is Black History Month

  • Published
  • By Courtesy Dr. Annette Mandley
  • 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

African-American/Black History Month, is celebrated each year during the month of February. The theme for 2018, provided by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is “African Americans in Times of War.”

This year’s theme commemorates the centennial of the end of the First World War in 1918, and highlights the service and sacrifice of African Americans during wartime from the Revolutionary War to present. The First World War was initially termed by many as “The Great War,” “The War to End All Wars,” and the war “to make the world safe for democracy.”

Those concepts provide a broad, useful framework for focusing on the roles of African-Americans in every American war, from the Revolutionary War Era to that of the present “War against Terrorism.” Times of War inevitably provide the background for many stories related to African-American soldiers and sailors, veterans, and civilians. This is a theme filled with paradoxes of valor and defeat, of civil rights opportunities and setbacks, of struggles abroad and at home, of artistic creativity and repression, and of catastrophic loss of life and the righteous hope for peace.

The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) graphics team wanted to capture some of the wartime sacrifices and milestones of African-Americans in our nation’s history. Featured on the 2018 poster are individuals who honorably served their country -- some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice in defending this great nation.   Please see  the poster key below for identification of pictures.

Poster Key (From top left to right):


1. Officers of a Famous [African American] Regiment arriving home from “France.”

2. Unidentified African American Soldier in Union infantry sergeant's uniform and black mourning ribbon with bayonet in front of painted backdrop.

3. Buffalo Soldier Cavalry Troopers.

4. Unidentified Civil War veteran.

5. Co. E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry at Fort Lincoln, Washington, D.C.

6. Unidentified African American Soldier in uniform and helmet with rifle.

7. Navy African Americans during World War II.

8. Unidentified African American Soldier in Union uniform.

9. African Americans during World War II.

10. Battalion Commander Maj. Charity Adams and Executive Officer Capt. Abbie Noel Campbell inspect the first Soldiers of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion to arrive in England, February 15, 1945.

11. African Americans during World War II.

12. Capt. Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr., of Washington D.C., climbing into an Advanced Trainer. Tuskegee, Alabama. January 1942.

13. 2nd Lt. Marcella Hayes, first Black female pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces.

14. The Golden Thirteen were the first African American men selected as officers in the Navy during World War II.

15. Center:  Emily Jazmin Tatum Perez (19 Feb 1983 – 12 Sept 2006) became the first minority female Cadet Command Sergeant Major at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The second lieutenant was buried at West Point as the first female graduate of West Point to die in Iraq. Perez, a platoon leader, was killed while patrolling southern Iraq near Najaf on Sept. 12, 2006, when a roadside bomb exploded under her Humvee.

16. African Americans during World War II.

17. Maj. Shawna Kimbrell, first Air Force Black female fighter pilot.

18. Coast Guardsman Marvin Sanders, Fireman 1st Class, in the Southwest Pacific.

19. African Americans during World War II.

20. Howard P. Perry was the first African American to enlist in the first U.S. Marine Corps’ class of 1,200 Black volunteers, 1942.

21. Olivia Juliette Hooker, the first African American woman to wear a Coast Guard uniform.

22. Gen. Colin L. Powell 1989: first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

23. Cathay Williams 1866: first Black female to enlist in the Army.