OBSERVANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2012

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NAVADMIN 026/12

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SUBJ/OBSERVANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2012//



RMKS/1.  THIS NAVADMIN ANNOUNCES THE NATIONAL OBSERVANCE OF AFRICAN 
AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH, 1-29 FEBRUARY 2012.  THE NATIONAL AND DEPARTMENT 
OF DEFENSE THEME FOR THIS YEAR'S OBSERVANCE IS "BLACK WOMEN IN AMERICAN 
HISTORY AND CULTURE."

2.  IN 1925, HARVARD HISTORIAN CARTER G. WOODSON LAUNCHED NEGRO HISTORY WEEK 
AS AN INITIATIVE TO BRING NATIONAL ATTENTION TO THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN 
AMERICAN PEOPLE THROUGHOUT AMERICAN HISTORY.  NEGRO HISTORY WEEK WAS FIRST 
CELEBRATED DURING THE SECOND WEEK OF FEBRUARY IN 1926, A WEEK WHICH ALSO 
MARKED THE BIRTHDAYS OF BOTH ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND FREDRICK 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.  THROUGHOUT OUR NAVAL HISTORY, AFRICAN AMERICAN SAILORS HAVE SERVED WITH 
HONOR AND DISTINCTION IN EVERY MAJOR WAR FOUGHT BY AND WITHIN THE UNITED 
STATES.  THEY HAVE LED AND EXCELLED IN CHALLENGING ASSIGNMENTS, AND THEIR 
CONTRIBUTIONS CONTINUE TO SHAPE OUR LEGACY TODAY.  THIS YEAR WE HONOR THAT 
LEGACY THROUGH OUR OBSERVANCE OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH, INCLUDING THE NUMEROUS 
CONTRIBUTIONS OF BLACK WOMEN IN OUR NAVAL HISTORY AND CULTURE.

4.  MORE THAN 123,000 AFRICAN AMERICANS SERVE TODAY IN THE NAVY'S TOTAL FORCE 
- ACTIVE, RESERVE, AND CIVILIAN.  THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS TO 
OUR NAVY CAN BE TRACED BACK TO THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.  DURING THE CIVIL WAR, 
AFRICAN AMERICAN SAILORS FOUGHT ON EVERY TYPE OF UNION WARSHIP, AND THEIR 
ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDED EIGHT MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS.  ENSIGN JESSE LEROY 
BROWN WAS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO BE TRAINED AS AN AVIATOR, AND HE WAS 
ALSO THE FIRST TO FLY IN COMBAT.  IN 1948, EDNA YOUNG BECAME THE FIRST AFRICAN 
AMERICAN ENLISTED FEMALE TO SERVE IN THE REGULAR NAVY.  CHAPLAIN THOMAS PARHAM 
BECAME THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN CHAPLAIN IN THE NAVY AND THE FIRST AFRICAN 
AMERICAN NAVAL OFFICER PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF CAPTAIN WHEN HE WAS PROMOTED IN 
FEBRUARY 1966.  REAR 
ADMIRAL MICHELLE J. HOWARD HAS MANY FIRSTS TO HER CREDIT, INCLUDING HER STATUS 
AS THE FIRST FEMALE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY GRADUATE TO BE PROMOTED TO THE 
RANK OF ADMIRAL, THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE TO COMMAND A COMBATANT 
SHIP, AND THE FIRST TO BE PROMOTED TO TWO STAR ADMIRAL.  IN 1996, ADMIRAL J. 
PAUL REASON BECAME THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO BE PROMOTED TO FOUR STARS.  
AFRICAN AMERICANS CONTINUE TO SHAPE THE LEGACY OF THE NAVY IN THE 21ST 
CENTURY.

5.  ALL COMMANDS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES TO 
INCREASE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN 
AMERICANS IN THE NAVY.  PRESENTATIONS, PHOTOS, BIOGRAPHIES AND INTERESTING 
VIGNETTES ON THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NAVY CAN BE FOUND ONLINE 
AT THE NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND AT 
WWW.HISTORY.NAVY.MIL/SPECIAL%20HIGHLIGHTS/AFRICANAMERICAN/AFRICAN-HIST.HTM.  
ADDITIONAL PRESENTATIONS ON AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK HISTORY MONTH, INCLUDING A 
DOWNLOADABLE COMMEMORATIVE POSTER, CAN BE FOUND ONLINE FROM THE DEFENSE EQUAL 
OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT (DEOMI) INSTITUTE AT 
WWW.DEOMI.ORG/SPECIALOBSERVANCE/PRESENTATIONS.CFM?CATID=2.  FOR MORE 
INFORMATION ON DIVERSITY CONFERENCES, EVENTS, AND OBSERVANCES, VISIT THE NAVY 
DIVERSITY WEB SITE AT WWW.NPC.NAVY.MIL/COMMANDSUPPORT/ DIVERSITY.    

6.  POINT OF CONTACT IS ENS AMBER LYNN DANIEL, OPNAV N134, AT (703) 604-5071 
OR VIA E-MAIL AT AMBERLYNN.DANIEL(AT)NAVY.MIL.

7.  RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL S. R. VAN BUSKIRK, N1.//

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