Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Craig Cantrell
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Soldiers, Family members and friends of Fort Carson attended the African-American/Black History Month Observance at the Elkhorn Conference Center Tuesday.
Guest speaker, 16-year-old Arraun Anderson, reminded the audience of milestones, tragedies and hardships endured by black women in American history.
Americans have annually recognized Black History Month, since its inception in 1926 as “Negro History Week” largely thanks to Dr. Carter
G. Woodson, a Harvard University graduate and son of former slaves.
“It is important to positively reflect on the tremendous accomplishments and sacrifices made by African-American women in our country,” said Master Sgt. Bobby Estrada, senior equal opportunity adviser, 4th Infantry Division.
“Those women inspire us through courage, service and tenacious winning spirit,” said Estrada.
“Black History Month, to me, means remembering the culture and what we have been through, and what we still have to accomplish,” said Anderson, speaker for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Colorado Springs Chapter.
Anderson, a high school junior, expressed his gratitude for the black women who have inspired him throughout his life.
“There are many women who deserve to have their stories told and retold, many women of all backgrounds, many African-American women,” he said.
Following Anderson’s remarks, Soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., read a list of personal facts about influential black women. In return, audience members shouted out names of who they thought the narrators described during a portion of the observance titled “Who am I.”
During the event, Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, also took the opportunity to share a story of his own.
The commanding general expressed his gratitude for role models in the African-American community, sharing with the audience his experience with a prominent black woman in American history and culture — Oprah Winfrey. He said he worked with the national talk show host in September 2004, when she gave a baby shower for more than 600 expectant mothers at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The general concluded the ceremony by thanking the attendees and 1st BCT Soldiers for helping make the observance possible.