News: Soldiers Celebrate National Black History Month in Iraq
Spc. Waine D. Haley
133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
TIKRIT, Iraq (February 20, 2006) - National Black History Month does not stop at our nation's border -- the celebration flows all the way to Iraq.
During this year's observance of Black History Month, the 96th Aviation Support Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Forward Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, held a celebration commemorating the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans. The theme for this event was "A Time of Change."
"Awareness and information are the keys to bringing black history month to just history month," said Spc. Regina Monique Crump, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 101st CAB.
Crump added that she would like to see all cultures brought to a point where everyone can get along and can do things in harmony.
This event used different ways to try to inform the masses. There was a speech, skit, songs, slide presentation, Spiritual dance and a poem.
"As I read different poems from different black poets, I felt that (poet) Maya Angelou had special meaning to me," Crump said. "I had seen her perform her poems and that allowed me to imitate [her]."
Captain Tia Benning, Company C, 96th ASB, felt there were several cultural attributes shining through in the Soldiers" performances.
"You saw a lot of attitude, a lot of color, and a lot of things you don't see on a day-to-day basis," Benning said. "When you start to learn about [culture] you start to appreciate it. If you don't know it you won't understand it."
There are several heritage months throughout the year such as African American, American Indian, Asian-Pacific American and Hispanic-Latino American. Benning feels if everyone celebrates all cultures year-round, there will be fewer barriers between them.
"If you bring everyone together, open up the service and encourage different cultures to share the event, it will bring more of an understanding," Benning said. "Sharing the event would seem as if the country was coming together and embracing the melting pot -- which it is."
"It doesn't matter what race, color or creed you are ..." Crump said, "it's about coming together; it's about giving and helping one another,"