February events celebrate African American History Month

  • Published
  • By Jacquelynn Coles
  • African American History Month Observance Committee
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Throughout the month of February, the Hanscom African American History Month Observance Committee will offer events to commemorate the 2019 theme, “Black Migrations.”

This theme emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations, and subsequently, to new social realities. While inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focuses especially on the 20th century through today.

Not only does the theme allow people to commemorate the migrations, but also the subsequent opportunities for great strides in African-descended Americans’ contributions to the military, arts, education and more.

The Ralph F. Browne, Jr., Chapter of Blacks In Government, or BIG, and the Col. Charles E. McGee Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated are the sponsoring organizations for this year’s events.

On Feb. 20 at 11:30 a.m. at the Minuteman Commons, the committee will host L’Merchie Frazier, director of Education and Interpretation for the Museum of African American History in Boston and Nantucket, Massachusetts. She will address, ‘Remembering the Great Migration, World War I and the Harlem Hell Fighters: Powered Differently.’

With the advent of the great migration from south to north, new questions became a part of the fabric and landscape shift for African Americans. Frazier will reflect upon the changing encounters that called for a new plan for economic and cultural survival. In that context, she will note the contributions of the 369th Infantry Regiment of African American Soldiers who served in World War I, along with their courage, commitment and efforts, juxtaposed to their experience as black soldiers.

She’ll share the exemplary stories of Sgt. Henry Johnson, James Reese and Col. Charles Young during the period of Jim Crow segregation. Through this lens, she will discuss the dynamics of the impact of their service and its reflection on contemporary society at the time, as the Harlem Renaissance ushered in the plan for black art and culture.

Other events planned in February:

This year’s committee again encourages all to participate in Kitenge Fridays, which encourages the wear of traditional African dress or African-inspired dress on Fridays.

On Feb. 8 at 4 p.m., First Friday at the Minuteman Commons will feature African American History Month trivia and free door prizes.

A trip to the Museum of African American History in Boston will take place Feb. 16 at 12 p.m.

A free food-tasting event featuring cuisines from the African Diaspora will take place following the speaking event at the Minuteman Commons on Feb. 20 at 12:30 p.m.

The committee will not attempt to make up any event canceled due to inclement weather.

For further information, contact Jacquelynn Coles at 781-225-5161 or by email at aflcmc.rfbj.big@us.af.mil.