AfriGeneas Military Research Forum
Celebrating Diversity through Black History month event
Blackanthem Military News, BAQUBAH, Iraq, February 27, 2006 11:25
The Gospel Choirs sings spiritual songs for the enjoyment of Soldiers during the "Black History Month" program at Faulkenburg Theater on Forward Operating Base Warhorse. Photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris VIDEO
Black history is American history -- which makes it our history. 20 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. championed that very notion by advocating for civil rights for all. 38 years later, for two consecutive nights, in a small theater on Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Soldiers of all races and nationalities celebrated African Americans who have contributed to American history.
The program entitled "Black History Month" was a mixture of spiritual readings, poems, gospel songs and personal stories shared by Soldiers. Lt. Col. Leonard Wells, commander, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Band of Brothers, spoke about his family and how his father rose above poverty and racial barriers in Louisiana to serve in the Army Band for 32 years.
"I wanted to illustrate, through personal example, that not long ago our Army judged us by the color of our skin," Wells said. "And that thousands of African Americans before us paved the way so that all Soldiers, black, white, red and yellow could serve, side-by-side, together without prejudice or hate."
Wells was referring to the famous executive order, #9981, signed by President Harry S. Truman officially ending segregation in the Army. He then reflected upon personal experiences growing up in the South.