News: Fort Wainwright African-American/Black History Month Observance
Story by Sgt. Sean Callahan
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Members of Fort Wainwright and the Fairbanks Community attended the African-American/Black History Month Observance at Fort Wainwright, Alaska’s Physical Fitness Center Feb. 28, 2014.
African-American/Black History Month is an observance for the entire month of February. The 2nd Engineer Brigade along with the Fort Wainwright Equal Opportunity Office sponsored this year’s observance.
The year 2014 is a milestone year for African-Americans and black history as a whole, because it marks the 50-year anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
This year’s keynote speaker is the Rev. Joe W. Blackburn, pastor at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Fairbanks, Alaska.
“It is a very humbling experience and honor to be the speaker for the African-American/Black History observance month,” he said, “as I think of those who have fought and are fighting through the struggles to bring about justice and equality in our great nation that all men shall be treated equally, regardless of race, color, or creed.”
Blackburn said it’s the nation’s responsibility to encourage its citizens to adhere to the Constitution of the United States that all men are created equally. We all share in that responsibility to stand up against unfair treatment wherever it may occur.
According to the 2010 United States Census Bureau, there are currently 2.4 million black military veterans in the U.S.
Blackburn said that military families are instrumental to his church and the Fairbanks community. As a veteran himself, he understands how it feels to be far from home and to come to a place where you don't know anyone, and that the service members who attend church become part of the church family. Spending holidays together, participating in programs, bonding and developing lifelong friendships that go far beyond military service.