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AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH OBSERVANCE 2003

Date Signed: 1/27/2003
MARADMINS Number: 035/03


R 271539Z JAN 03
FM CMC WASHINGTON DC(n)
TO ML MARADMIN(n)
MARADMIN
BT
UNCLAS
MARADMIN 035/03
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MP//
SUBJ/AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH OBSERVANCE 2003//
POC/M.Y.AYRES/CAPT/CMC MP/-/TEL:COMM 703-784-9371/TEL:DSN 278-9371//
RMKS/1. THE 77TH ANNUAL OBSERVANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE
MONTH IS CELEBRATED DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY 2003. THIS YEAR'S
THEME, "THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK: CENTENNIAL REFLECTIONS",
INCORPORATES THE TITLE OF W.E.B. DUBOIS' WORK IN AFRICAN AMERICAN
LITERATURE EXAMINING THE YEARS FOLLOWING THE CIVIL WAR AND THE ROLE
OF THE FREEDMEN'S BUREAU IN RECONSTRUCTION.
2. DR. CARTER G. WOODSON ESTABLISHED NEGRO HISTORY WEEK IN 1926 TO
CELEBRATE AFRICAN AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO AMERICAN HISTORY. HE
CHOSE THE SECOND WEEK IN FEBRUARY FOR MANY REASONS; ONE BEING,
12 FEBRUARY 1865, WHEN SLAVES RECEIVED WORD OF THE SIGNING OF THE
13TH AMENDMENT ABOLISHING SLAVERY. NEGRO HISTORY WEEK BECAME
AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH IN 1976.
3. TODAY, WE COMMEMORATE THE SELFLESSNESS, RESOURCEFUL, AND
DETERMINED EFFORTS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS TO IMPROVE THE WAY OF
LIFE FOR THEMSELVES AND FUTURE GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS.
4. AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR COUNTRY'S HISTORY
AND HAVE MADE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR NATIONAL LEGACY.
HISTORY HAILS THE SACRIFICES OF THE BUFFALO SOLDIERS, HEROES FROM
WORLD WAR II AND THE MONTFORD POINT MARINES. THOUSANDS OF AFRICAN
AMERICAN MARINES HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE HERITAGE OF OUR CORPS, OUR
COUNTRY AND THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY. THE MARINE CORPS
CONTINUES TO BENEFIT TODAY FROM THE LEADERSHIP EXAMPLES OF MARINES
LIKE LIEUTENANT GENERAL FRANK E. PETERSEN, THE FIRST AFRICAN
AMERICAN MARINE AVIATOR; FREDERICK C. BRANCH, THE FIRST AFRICAN
AMERICAN COMMISSIONED MARINE OFFICER; SERGEANT MAJOR ALFORD
MCMICHAEL, THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN SERGEANT MAJOR OF THE MARINE
CORPS. THE MARINE CORPS ALSO CONTINUES TO CONTRIBUTE TO AMERICA
BY TRANSITIONING RETIRED MARINES TO SERVE SOCIETY, MARINES LIKE
RETIRED MAJOR GENERAL CLIFFORD S. STANLEY, THE EXECUTIVE VICE
PRESIDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA.
5. COMMANDERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO RECOGNIZE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF AFRICAN
AMERICANS, MILITARY AND CIVILIAN. COMMANDERS ARE FURTHER ENCOURAGED
TO CONDUCT PROGRAMS AND PROMOTE PARTICIPATION IN OBSERVANCE EVENTS
BOTH ON BASE AND IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. COMMANDERS ARE AUTHORIZED TO
DEVELOP LOCAL THEMES FOR USE AT THEIR COMMANDS.//