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Robins, local community team up to celebrate Black Heritage Month

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The base and local communities are celebrating Black History Month by observing the 100th anniversary of the Niagara Movement.

The civil rights movement started in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1905 and attempted to obtain equal rights for blacks. The Niagara Movement was a precursor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The Niagara Movement is this year’s Department of Defense-directed theme.

“The actual black heritage observance is the entire month of February, Black History Month,” said 2nd Lt. LeShean Lawson, Black Heritage Observance Committee chairperson and 78th Engineering Squadron project programmer. “Our focus is to promote the awareness of the hardships, accomplishments and the overall culture of African Americans, past and present.”

Each year different units are responsible for hosting the events associated with the black heritage observance, Lieutenant Lawson said. This year the 78th Air Base Wing is the host unit.

BHOC activities are not limited to Robins people. For instance, high school and middle school students from the base and local area will take part in a youth/cultural day.

“The entire community is encouraged to support and participate in the events set forth for the 2005 observance,” Lieutenant Lawson said.

“The host unit, along with local area sponsors and fundraisers conducted by the BHOC, supports the observance financially each year,” said Senior Airman Dana Daniels, BHOC secretary and deployable network administrator for the 53rd Combat Communications Squadron.

Dates, times, locations and points of contact for Black Heritage Observance events are:

Jan. 22, 9 p.m.-until – Old School Dance, Robins AFB Enlisted Club (East Wing), Roy Crittenden;

Jan. 28 – Golf tournament at Pine Oaks, lunch at 11:30 a.m. and tee time at 12:30 p.m., Jeanette McElhaney;

Feb. 6, 4-6p.m. – Gospel concert at Robins AFB Chapel, Hildred Jones;

Feb. 17, 11:30 a.m. – Luncheon at the Robins AFB Enlisted Club, Mike Coley;

Feb. 11 – Health Fun Run/Walk. Registration at the Robins Health and Wellness Center at 9:30 a.m. and start at 10 a.m., Lula Harris;

Feb. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Youth/Cultural at the Museum of Aviation, featuring New Vision and the African Sashay dancers. Dr. West, Twiggs County superintendent, is the guest speaker. POC is Kenneth Hill;

Feb. 25, 7-10 p.m. – Grand finale at the Robins AFB Enlisted Club, featuring ‘5 Men on a Stool.’ These men collaborate to bring the spoken word combined with old school, gospel and today's inspirational music. POCs are Faye Smartt and Mary West.