MacDill celebrates Black History Month

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  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The Department of Defense and MacDill AFB recognizes the bravery and exceptional service of Black military and civilian personnel. This month and throughout the year, we celebrate the richness and diversity of their achievements. 

In observance of the 2023 Black History Month, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute proudly announces the availability of original artwork available for download from DEOMI’s public website, www.defenseculture.mil

This year’s theme, “Inspiring Change,” epitomizes the contributions of African Americans to challenging racial inequities and promoting opportunities for equal advancement within the African American community. 

The 2023 Department of Defense Black History Month poster depicts from left, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Billy Smith and Clarence Henderson, on the second day of a peaceful sit-down protest they organized at a Woolworth in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

The Greensboro Sit-Ins were the first prominent non-violent sit-in protests of the civil rights movement and lasted from Feb. 1 to July 25, 1960.

The protests led to the Woolworth Department Store chain ending its policy of racial segregation in its stores.  

The protest began when McNeil, McCain, Ezell Blair Jr. (later know as Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond, African American students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, sat down at a lunch counter inside Woolworth and politely asked for service.

Their request was refused, and they were asked to leave. In response, they chose to remain in their seats. This passive resistance and peaceful sit-down protest helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South.

McNeil went on to become a major general in the U.S. Air Force.

For more information, visit www.defenseculture.mil.