Pictured above is a watercolor portrait of Winston, NASA Astronaut and U.S. Navy Veteran, as featured in our current exhibition, We The People: Portraits of Veterans in America.
During Black History Month, we are sharing the experiences, challenges and triumphs of Black American Veterans by telling their stories. Check back each week during February for a new video as well as a series of virtual events and online programming listed below. African American Veterans fought our country’s wars even when they had to battle for the right to do so. This month, and every month, we honor these Veterans for their courage, sacrifice and perseverance with thanks for our freedoms.
Week 1: Introduction to Black History Month
Since the birth of our country and the fight for independence, African American men and women have played significant roles in the wars and conflicts throughout American history. During Black History Month, we honor their service, sacrifice and achievements. Our Public Programs Manager, Stacey Queen, shares a special message in our blog: Honoring Black History Month.
Week 2: Civil War Veterans
“In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation opened the door for African Americans to join the war effort. By the end of the Civil War, approximately 180,000 African American soldiers had joined the fight.” – The Library of Congress
In honor of Black History Month, Museum Educator Taylor Shaw shares the story of U.S. Navy Veteran Siah Hulett Carter who served on the USS Monitor during the Civil War. You can also learn more in our latest blog post: Siah Hulett Carter: USS Monitor Sailor.
Week 3: World War I and World War II Veterans
During World War I, thousands of African Americans joined the fight to defend their country. These heroes risked their lives for a country that refused to admit that they deserved the same equal opportunities and rights as their fellow white soldiers.
Museum Educator Samantha Brooks shares Corporal Freddie Stowers’ inspiring story in our video as well as our latest blog, World War I Medal of Honor Recipient: Corporal Freddie Stowers.
Week 4: Modern War Veterans
As February comes to a close, we continue to celebrate the service, sacrifice and contributions African Americans have made to our United States Armed Forces. We began the month with historical Black American Veteran stories and with this final week, we share a 2021 story of history in the making.
Gen. Lloyd James Austin III, U.S. Army (Retired), last month was confirmed as our country’s first Black Secretary of Defense. Our Public Programs Manager, Stacey Queen, shares his story in our latest blog: Saluting General Lloyd Austin III, U.S. Army (Retired)
Bring the National Veterans Memorial and Museum to your classroom at home.
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VEC 001 Black History Month Presentations