Team Dover ‘Honors the Past, Secures the Future’ at Black History Month Luncheon

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Laura Beckley
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Team Dover held a luncheon in honor of African American/Black History Month at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, Feb. 28, 2020.

This year’s theme, “Honoring the past, Securing the Future” commemorates the 75th anniversary of World War II and the sacrifices made by African Americans in defense of global peace and security.

The event included musical performances, a keynote address and several readings by audience members commemorating historic and heroic acts by African Americans during World War II.

“African Americans during this time were fighting for a double victory,” said keynote speaker, Dr. Annemarie Moore-Handley, 436th Airlift Wing, Equal Opportunity director. “They were fighting for this country and they were fighting for their rights.”

During World War II, 2.5 million African American men registered for the draft and large numbers of black women volunteered. Despite their willingness to serve, African Americans still experienced racism, segregation and injustices not only during the war overseas, but also the war in the United States for civil rights.

“We look at the past and we look at the things that have occurred. They are certainly not pleasant and they certainly hurt,” said Handley. “But they shouldn’t be a reminder of what was wrong, but rather a reminder of the positive that we’re going towards.”  

Handley’s observations of socio-cultural progress were not only captured in her comments, but also by the diversity of the audience in attendance. Among them, Capt. Ariel Green, event planner and 436th Force Support Squadron military personnel flight commander, echoed Handley’s sentiment of inclusivity and new opportunity.

“When you bring in people with different skills and experiences, you can create a more lethal force,” said Green. “If everyone at the table looks the same or thinks the same, how can you expect to be innovative? How can you expect to have a better understanding of a situation that you may not have lived? Diversity is incredibly important for the force.”

African American/Black History Month is observed every February in celebration and remembrance of the contributions African Americans have made to the nation. African American/Black History Month is one of several observances established by public law, including Women’s History Month in March, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, Pride Month in June and several others.

For more information on Department of Defense diversity, equity, and inclusivity visit https://diversity.defense.gov/