MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Members of the base community gathered at the Base Chapel Tuesday for the base's National Black History Month Opening Ceremony.
The theme for the 77th Annual Black History Month Observance is "The Souls of Black Folk: Centennial Reflections," a book written by W.E.B. Dubois 100 years ago. The book examined the years following the Civil War and the role of the Freedmen's Bureau in the nation's reconstruction and the color line.
According to Hattie Mosely, chairperson of the Black Employment Program Committee, National Black History Month is commonly referred to as African American Heritage Month.
In 1926, National Negro Week was established by Dr. Carter Woodson to recognize African American achievements in American history. In 1976, the occasion was celebrated throughout the month as African American Heritage Month.
People must focus on the issues of the past and the present to appreciate fully the significance of the month-long observance and the activities it generates, according to Mosely. People must also examine the progress made in equal opportunity, civil rights and similar areas of human rights and dignity to understand the real meaning of Black History Month.
Staff Sgt. Carlton Knox, the Base Equal Opportunity Advisor, was the guest speaker for the ceremony.
According to Knox, in his book Dubois cites many of the issues that concerned society in the 20th century and continues to concern society today Ð issues such as emancipation, color lines and segregation.
The book's relevant nature and theme was the basis of his referencing Dubois's highly acclaimed work throughout his speech, Knox said. Other topics Knox discussed included slavery, stereotyping, color barriers and other problems.
Knox also believes demographics represent an issue. The speech may have persuaded people to reexamine issues they may have had been resolved and were, therefore, nonexistent today.
"I believe problems still exists," said Knox. "Society has masked them, but they are still there."
Event organizers have activities planned throughout February to commemorate National Black History Month.
A sandwich seminar will be held in the Crossroads Restaurant Banquet Room Feb. 20, and a Black History Month Breakfast is set for Feb. 26. Billie Robinson will be the seminar guest speaker, while Johnny Litman III, of the Office of Counsel, is slated to speak at the breakfast.