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Heritage: Fort Rucker celebrates African-American History Month

Fashion show participants at last year’s African-American History Month kickoff event take a bow. This year’s kickoff will be held at the post exchange Jan. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Photo by Jeremy Henderson)

Fashion show participants at last year’s African-American History Month kickoff event take a bow. This year’s kickoff will be held at the post exchange Jan. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Photo by Jeremy Henderson)

Published: January 21, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Jan. 21, 2016) -- As Martin Luther King Jr. day passes and reminds people of the sacrifices of one man, Fort Rucker is also looking to remember all that African Americans have contributed throughout history.

Jan. 29, the 1st Aviation Brigade Equal Opportunity Office will kick off African-American History Month with a kickoff event at the post exchange from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. as a way to promote diversity and remind people of all the contributions that African Americans have made throughout history.

This year’s theme is “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African-American Memories” and focuses on the areas and locations with important historic significance as it relates to African-American History all over the U.S., said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lukeman, 1st Avn. Bde. EO adviser.

“What we want to do is to get the information out to people to see that there is so much more out there and so much more to African-America History than just African-American History Month, because African-American history is American history,” he said. “It’s not just for African Americans – it’s for everybody – it’s American culture. These are things that people take for granted and don’t even realize.”

During the kickoff event, people will get to hear from Precious Freeman, director of the G.W. Carver Museum in Dothan, who will be on hand as the guest speaker, as well as hear musical selections from musical guests and get a sampling of traditional African American dishes with food samplings.

The 1st Avn. Bde. is still looking for volunteers to provide food sample trays for the kickoff event, so if interested, call 255-2363 or 255-2930.

The Black History 5k and 1-mile fun run will be held Feb. 6 beginning at 9 a.m. Participants can register for the race from now up until the day of the race, and the cost to register is $12 with no shirt and $20 with a shirt if registered by Jan. 31, and $25 after that. Teams of up to eight can also register for $120, which includes shirts up to Jan. 31, and $160 Feb. 1 up until race day.

First, second and third place medals will be awarded in 14 categories for both males and females, as well as trophies awarded to the fastest team. Young children can participate in the 1-mile fun run following the race.

Feb. 12, the Center Library will host book readings, and arts and crafts at 10 a.m. for children up to 6 years old. For more information, call the library at 255-3885.

Feb. 25, The Landing will host the African-American Heritage/Black History Month Luncheon where a guest speaker will talk on the significance of African-American History, and Feb. 28 a free showing of the movie “Selma” will be shown at the post theater to round out the month.

Lukeman said he hopes that with these events throughout the month people will be able to see the significance that African-American history has made to shape the America that they live in today.

“A lot of times people don’t realize that they’re in the state where the heart of the Civil Rights Movement took place,” said the EO adviser. “We just celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, and there are places in this state that the man physically walked, and people can walk in the footsteps of history.

“The biggest thing for me and the thing that I’m most passionate about is to let people know that this is all part of American History,” he continued. “So much of what African Americans have done for us in the past is setting us up for the future, and I just want to help people realize that. I hope that we can get that message out there and help people see the history that is around them.”

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