Capt. Lesa Glenn-Tracy is a proponent of staying abreast of history. As such, she attended the African American/Black History Month Observance, Feb. 28, at the Iron Mike Conference Center.
“Part of diversity is to learn more about our culture and our history,” said Glenn-Tracy, a Soldier assigned to the 82nd Sustainment Brigade.
It is diversity that has contributed to making the Army strong, said Col. Tina Ruth Jones-Faison, officer in charge of Laflamme Dental Clinic, who served as one of two guest speakers at the observance. The other speaker was Dr. Anthony Wade, director, Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations.
Not only has diversity contributed to making the Army strong, it reiterates the theme of this year’s observance: “Shaping a Nation; Acts of Diversity.” Fort Bragg’s official observance of African American/Black History is an important event.
“Much of African American/Black History remains unwritten,” read an inserted message by Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general, Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve and seniro commander, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. “Let us pledge to write our own chapter, treating all people with dignity, respect and equality, and overcoming prejudice with the same sense of urgency of past generations, rising above the injustices of their time.”
“So much is not in our history books today, so we just have to let people know because word of mouth over time does not do justice,” said Jones-Faison. “It needs to be printed. People need to read this. They need to know that history involves all people, all ethnicities, not just one particular race because we all contributed to each other.”
The Samuel Council Chapter 555th Parachute Infantry Association was also represented. William Swift, a retired first sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division, provided various Triple Nickle displays.
Other displays included a portrait of Cathay Williams, who posed as a man and became the first African American woman to enlist in the Army, serving as a Buffalo Soldier with the 38th U.S. Infantry from 1866 to 1868; John Warren Jr., Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in Vietnam on Jan. 14, 1969 while assigned to the 22nd Infantry Regiment; and Nina Simone, pianist, singer and civil rights activist, who was a North Carolina native.
The 2017 African American/Black History Month Observance was facilitated by Team Bragg Equal Opportunity and the 82nd Abn. Div. For observers, it is important that it remains a signature event for Fort Bragg in celebrating diversity and recognizing that the human race has no division.
“If we embrace everyone’s heritage, we can all be part of the human race,” said Jones-Faison.