The William Beaumont Army Medical Center Equal Opportunity team hosted an African American Black History Month ceremony on February 21 in the clinical assembly room. The theme of this year’s observance, “Inspiring Change,” was emphasized throughout the event.
The EO team highlighted the theme by telling the Greensboro Four story.
On February 1, 1960, Ezell Blair, Jr., Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, and David Richmond, all black first-year college students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, went into the Woolworths store in Greensboro, North Carolina.
After shopping, they sat at the lunch counter and ordered. Black folks could not eat at the lunch counter. It was an all-white dining area. When Woolworth’s personnel declined to accept their orders, the four young men quietly remained seated. The students ignored the shop manager’s request to leave.
This peaceful sit-in was planned for months. On February 4, 1960, 100 protestors packed the shop and lunch counter. The Greensboro Four soon spurred other students to act. When word spread, young people in other North Carolina communities and other states opposed lunch counter segregation.
“We celebrate Black History Month as a reminder of the tremendous sacrifices made by generations of African Americans who fought long and hard for racial equality in this country,” said Maj. Lotisha Garvin, Executive Officer, WBAMC.
Since the 1700s, African Americans have significantly contributed to the military and played essential roles. Carter G. Woodson and other pioneers organized the celebration, which evolved from Black History Week and took place in the second week of February 1926. The date coincided with Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays.
Sgt. Janasia Bonner, a licensed practical nurse and WBAMC participant spoke about Black History Month.
“Black History Month is a month for reflection and not merely a time for celebration. We ought to celebrate every day for the freedom, influence, and fight our ancestors put up to pave the way for us to be in the positions that we can be in now. It is a time to be reminded of how far we have come and how far we have gone,” said Bonner.
“We here at WBAMC are proud to do our part in celebrating the achievements of these extraordinary individuals and promoting diversity in our community,” said Garvin.
|EL PASO, TX, US