MacDill celebrates Black History Month

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  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Team MacDill and the Department of Defense join the nation in celebrating Black History Month during February.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans. It is a time for recognizing their immeasurable impact on United States history.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History theme for 2022 is “Black Health and Wellness” focusing on the overall well-being of the African American community.

This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.

The 2022 DoD Black History Month poster reflects a consolidated group of black and white photographs recognizing the achievements of John Woodruff, a 1936 Gold Medal Olympian at Berlin, Germany.

Woodruff was only a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh in 1936 when he earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Despite his inexperience, he was the favorite in the Olympic 800 meter run, and he did not disappoint. In one of the most exciting races in Olympic history, Woodruff became boxed in by other runners and was forced to stop running. He then came from behind to win the gold medal.

Scan the quick response code (QRC) to view the captivating 1936 Olympic race.

The first official observance came in 1976, from President Gerald Ford whose words established Black History Month.

He proclaimed, “In the Bicentennial year of our Independence, we can review with admiration the impressive contributions of Black Americans to our national life. To help highlight these achievements, Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. We are grateful to him today for his initiative, and we are richer for the work of his organization.”

Ten years later in 1986, the U.S. Congress in a joint resolution of the House and Senate, designated the entire month of February as “National Black History Month.”

The resolution authorized and requested President Ronald Reagan to issue a proclamation in observance. The Presidential Proclamation 5443 noted, “The foremost purpose of Black History Month is to make all Americans aware of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.”

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.

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