News: African-American history through the years
Story by Lance Cpl. Benjamin Pryer
IWAKUNI, Japan - Station residents came together for the final two events of black history month, the culmination luncheon in the Club Iwakuni dining room and the living wax museum in the station library, here Feb. 29.
The culmination luncheon, presented by the Iwakuni Black History
Community Group, was a chance to thank those who participated in the events throughout the month and to present awards and
letters of appreciation to those who earned them.
For its annual theme, this year’s black history month focused on African-American women and their contributions to American history and culture.
After handing out awards, a slideshow played to honor past and present prominent African-American women in history.
Later in the day, students from Matthew C. Perry Elementary and
High School dressed up to represent famous African-Americans throughout the years, acting as personal tour guides into the lives
of whom they represented.
“The goal of this event was to share information and knowledge in a fun and entertaining way,” said Netra Harwell, M.C. Perry Elementary educational technologist. “I want people to walk away with knowledge, not just about (African-American) history, but about American history and how the two are woven together.”
Station residents toured the library, stopping and listening as each student recited an informative short speech about the life, struggles and achievements of the person whom they portrayed.
“This is important for the (children),” said Sgt. Maj. Gerard J. Calvin, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 sergeant major. “It gives them the opportunity to learn about historical African-Americans, both in the past and present, give them a strong appreciation for their culture and give them the opportunity to give back to the community because not only are they educating themselves, they’re educating everyone here.”