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Celebrating Black History Month


The origins of Black History Month date back to 1915 with the founding of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, an organization dedicated to promoting the achievements of black Americans and others of African descent.

The group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, the second week of February, to coincide with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and American abolitionist and author Frederick Douglass. This single event was the precursor to what has evolved today into Black History Month.

Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976 by President Gerald Ford, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments to black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. This year’s theme is “African Americans in Times of War.” In keeping with this tradition, the African American Heritage Committee is planning relevant activities to honor the many contributions of African Americans to our country, Tinker Air Force Base and the United States Air Force.

Highlights of the activities planned for Black History Month include: a diversity panel that will be held at the Tinker Chapel Fellowship Hall at 11:15 a.m. on Feb. 15; a movie night at the base theater starting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 23 featuring the movie Red Tails; facts of the week on the Tinker Facebook page; and a traveling display board honoring Black History Month. The African American Heritage Committee would like to invite the entire Tinker community to participate and help celebrate black history, education and cultural diversity.

For more information, contact Rebecca Traynor, Affirmative Employment Program manager at 736-7385.