MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- To mark the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and the rest of the nation will conduct observances during this year’s Black History Month.
To commemorate Black History Month here, the base and the Albany Area Chapter of Blacks in Government will host a luncheon Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Town and Country Restaurant.
“2013 marks the 150th and 50th year anniversaries, respectively, of two parallel events, occurring in 1863 and 1963,” Ira Thompson, president of the Albany Area Chapter of Blacks in Government, said.
According to Marine Administrative Message 011/13, in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all who were enslaved in the United States.
A full century later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington where he gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech marked a tipping-point in the civil rights movement, Thompson added.
Through the leadership of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month originated as “Negro History Week” in 1926, according to MARADMIN 011/13.
“Woodson sought to create an observance to recognize and honor the heritage, accomplishments and contributions made by African-Americans to American society,” the message states.
As part of MCLB Albany’s observance of this year’s Black History Month theme, “At the
Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington,” Shirley Sherrod, who works with Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education Inc., will deliver remarks.
Sherrod helps assist farmers and other rural residents. A few of her projects include building a food hub that will include a vegetable processing center for small farmers and a school project that connects farmers and school systems in effort to supply locally grown vegetables to local schools, according to her biography.
Thompson emphasized that celebrating Black History Month all monthlong not just during the base’s observance is important.
“Richness of history is vital in sustaining our future as Americans regardless of cultural makeup,” he said. “We are a melting pot and though we embark on this month being a month to celebrate the richness in the African-American culture, it is understood that we are daily representations of our ancestors and we have all benefited from community leaders, activists and our ancestors.”