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NEWS | March 3, 2017

African American History Month: Crisis in Black Education

By 1st Lt. Mahalia Frost 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian and author, selected February as the official month to honor the contributions African Americans made to American history, and made a week-long celebration known as, Negro History Week.


As a way to honor their contribution, Fort Eustis hosted a National African American History Month commemoration at Fort Eustis, Virginia, Feb. 28, 2017.


The ceremony, hosted by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command resource management division, included participation from the TRADOC Band, Hampton University Concert Choir and guest speaker Brian Smalls, a local attorney and activist.


Smalls, a native of Williamsburg, Va., spoke on this year’s national theme, ‘The Crisis in Black Education.’ 


According to Smalls, African American students are not academically inferior based on race.


“Socio-economics plays a critical role in the success of not just African American students, but students in general,” said Smalls. “Resources and the income of people in [an] area ultimately have an impact on ability to be successful in their education environment.” 


To align with this year’s national theme, the event’s goal was to provide insight into factors that may impact African American students’ academic success.  


“We cannot be silent about black education,” said Smalls. “We must be willing to speak up for those who cannot, and will not, speak for themselves. 


Without Carter G. Woodson’s efforts, Observances such as these would have never been established to recognize African Americans’ contributions to the nation.