OBSERVANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2011

UNCLASSIFIED//

ROUTINE

R 141840Z JAN 11

FM CNO WASHINGTON DC

TO AL NAVADMIN
NAVADMIN

INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC

BT
UNCLAS
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N00//
TO NAVADMIN
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
NAVADMIN 010/11

MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N00/JAN//

SUBJ/OBSERVANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2011//



RMKS/1.  AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH WILL BE OBSERVED NATIONALLY 1-28 
FEBRUARY 2011.  BLACK HISTORY MONTH PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE GENERATIONS OF AFRICAN 
AMERICANS WHO STRUGGLED WITH ADVERSITY TO ACHIEVE FULL CITIZENSHIP IN AMERICAN 
SOCIETY.  THE NATIONAL AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE THEME FOR THIS YEAR'S 
OBSERVANCE IS "AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE CIVIL WAR."

2.  BLACK HISTORY MONTH ORIGINATED WHEN HARVARD HISTORIAN CARTER G. WOODSON 
AND THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF NEGRO LIFE AND HISTORY (ASNLH) ANNOUNCED 
NEGRO HISTORY WEEK IN 1925.  THE EVENT WAS FIRST CELEBRATED DURING THE SECOND 
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 1926, WHICH ENCOMPASSED THE BIRTHDAYS OF BOTH ABRAHAM LINCOLN 
AND FREDERICK DOUGLASS.  IN 1976, THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF NEGRO HISTORY WEEK 
AND THE BICENTENNIAL OF THE UNITED STATES' INDEPENDENCE, PRESIDENT GERALD R. 
FORD PROCLAIMED FEBRUARY AS BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

3.  TODAY, AND THROUGHOUT OUR NAVY'S HISTORY, AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE SEIZED 
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE.  THEY HAVE LED AND EXCELLED IN CHALLENGING 
ASSIGNMENTS, AND THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS HAVE SHAPED OUR LEGACY.  SINCE THE 
REVOLUTIONARY WAR, AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE PARTICIPATED IN EVERY WAR FOUGHT BY 
AND WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.  THIS YEAR WE WILL REMEMBER THE REMARKABLE 
CONTRIBUTIONS MADE BY AFRICAN AMERICANS DURING THE CIVIL WAR.

4.  MORE THAN 186,000 AFRICAN AMERICANS SERVED IN THE UNION ARMY AND NAVY, AND 
THEY PROVIDED SUPPORT SERVICES ESSENTIAL TO KEEPING WARTIME FORCES FUNCTIONING 
EFFECTIVELY.  BY WAR'S END, AFRICAN AMERICANS HAD SERVED ON ALMOST ALL OF THE 
UNION'S NEARLY 700 SHIPS, AND EIGHT WERE AWARDED THE MEDAL OF HONOR FOR 
GALLANTRY IN COMBAT.  ONE RECIPIENT WAS LANDSMAN JOHN LAWSON, WHO WAS AWARDED 
THE MEDAL OF HONOR FOR HIS HEROIC ACTIONS WHILE SERVING ON USS HARTFORD DURING 
THE BATTLE OF MOBILE BAY IN 1864.  MORE INFORMATION ON THE INDIVIDUAL 
CONTRIBUTIONS OF SAILORS DURING THE CIVIL WAR IS AVAILABLE FROM THE NATIONAL 
PARKS SERVICE AT HTTP://WWW.ITD.NPS.GOV/CWSS/SAILORS_INDEX.HTML.

5.  AFRICAN AMERICANS CONTINUED TO SHAPE THE LEGACY OF THE NAVY IN THE 20TH 
AND 21ST CENTURIES.  IN 1917, JOHN HENRY TURPIN BECAME THE FIRST AFRICAN 
AMERICAN CHIEF PETTY OFFICER, THE NAVY'S HIGHEST ENLISTED RANK AT THE TIME.  
ANSWERING THE CALL TO SERVE IN WORLD WAR II WERE LTJG HARRIET IDA PICKENS AND 
ENS FRANCES WILLS, THE FIRST TWO AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN ACCEPTED FOR VOLUNTEER 
EMERGENCY SERVICES (WAVES), AND PHYLLIS MAE DAILEY, THE NAVY'S FIRST AFRICAN 
AMERICAN COMMISSIONED NURSE.  ADMIRAL J. PAUL REASON BECAME THE NAVY'S FIRST 
AFRICAN AMERICAN FOUR-STAR ADMIRAL IN 1996, AND RDML LILLIAN E. FISHBURNE 
BECAME THE NAVY'S FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN FLAG OFFICER IN 1998.  
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR INSTALLATIONS AND ENVIRONMENT, THE 
HONORABLE BJ "BUDDY" PENN, WAS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO SERVE AS ACTING 
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY IN 2009.  IN OCTOBER 2009, THE NAVY ANNOUNCED THAT THE 
LEWIS AND CLARK-CLASS DRY CARGO SHIP T-AKE 13 WOULD BE NAMED IN HONOR OF WORLD 
WAR II VETERAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST MEDGAR EVERS.  VADM SAMUEL LEE 
GRAVELY, JR., WAS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO COMMAND A WARSHIP, TO ATTAIN 
FLAG RANK, AND TO COMMAND A NUMBERED FLEET.
IN NOVEMBER 2010, USS GRAVELY (DDG 107) WAS COMMISSIONED, HONORING HIS LEGACY.  
THIS MONTH, RADM BRUCE E. GROOMS AND SES VICTOR GAVIN, WILL BE HONORED AT THE 
BLACK ENGINEER OF THE YEAR AWARDS FOR THEIR CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS AND 
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY.

6.  ALL COMMANDS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO INCREASE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND 
AWARENESS OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS TO OUR NAVY AND NATION BY 
CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH THROUGH PROGRAMS, EXHIBITS, PUBLICATIONS AND 
PARTICIPATION IN MILITARY AND COMMUNITY EVENTS.  A PRESENTATION IS AVAILABLE 
ON THE DEFENSE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE WEB SITE AT 
HTTP://WWW.DEOMI .ORG/SPECIALOBSERVANCE/PRESENTATIONS.CFM?CATID=2.
A SHOWCASE OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN NAVAL HISTORY BY THE NAVAL HISTORY AND 
HERITAGE COMMAND CAN BE FOUND AT HTTP://WWW.HISTORY.NAVY 
.MIL/SPECIAL%20HIGHLIGHTS/AFRICANAMERICAN
/AFRICAN-HIST.HTM.  INFORMATION ON THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS TO 
OUR NATION'S LEGACY CAN BE FOUND AT 
HTTP://WWW.AFRICANAMERICANHISTORYMONTH.GOV.  COMMANDS ARE ALSO ENCOURAGED TO 
ENGAGE WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN AFFINITY GROUPS, INCLUDING THE NATIONAL NAVAL 
OFFICERS ASSOCIATION (HTTP://WWW.NNOA.ORG/), AND BLACKS IN GOVERNMENT 
(HTTP://WWW.BIGNET.ORG/).

7.  MORE INFORMATION ON DIVERSITY CONFERENCES, EVENTS, AND OBSERVANCES IS 
AVAILABLE AT THE NAVY DIVERSITY WEB SITE: HTTP://WWW 
.NPC.NAVY.MIL/COMMANDSUPPORT/DIVERSITY.

8.  POINT OF CONTACT IS LT LAURA STEGHERR, OPNAV N134, AT (703) 695-0820/DSN 
225 OR VIA EMAIL AT LAURA.STEGHERR(AT)NAVY.MIL.

9.  RELEASED BY ADMIRAL G. ROUGHEAD, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.//

BT
#0001
NNNN

%d bloggers like this: