Robins celebrates Black Heritage Month with calendar of events

2007 logo for the Robins Black Heritage Observance

2007 logo for the Robins Black Heritage Observance

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- As the country sets forth to recognize Black History Month, a celebration of the culture and contributions of African Americans throughout history, Robins is gearing up to take on the role of educator and motivator through its own black heritage observance.

According to Anthony Dunn, Robins Black Heritage Observance Committee chairperson, the goal of the local observance is to educate the community.

"My hope for those attending the events we've planned is a greater understanding and appreciation of the major achievements and contributions by African Americans to the United States of America," he said.

"For me, this was an opportunity to focus on a project that touches, teaches or benefits the entire base community in one way or another that we all can be proud of."

The observance, which officially kicked off Jan. 26 with a golf tournament at Pine Oaks Golf Course, will continue through the end of February and will include a calendar of events including a luncheon featuring guest speaker Pastor Kyle Searcy.

"Pastor Searcy is the pastor at Fresh Anointing International Church in Montgomery, Ala.," said Bernice Jones, luncheon coordinator. "He's a dynamic speaker who not only preaches, but teaches. You come away with something new every time you hear him."

In addition to the luncheon and a host of other events, the base and local communities will be invited to a Gospel Extravaganza Feb. 18 at the Base Chapel. The event will feature the Robins Community Mass Choir along with "N'Him We Move," a praise dance ministry, and various other visiting artists.

Mrs. Jones said the BHO is important to a community as diverse as Robins.

"It's important for our cultures to intermingle," she said. "This gives us a chance to learn a little more about each other."

The retail item manager with the 402nd Maintenance Support Group came to work at Robins in 1981 and has played a part in the observance as a committee member or active participant in the events each year since.

She said being a descendant of slaves who has children of her own, it means a great deal being a part of such a great effort.

"I've heard the stories passed down through my family and I want to help keep traditions going and impart a motto of never forgetting where you came from," she said. "This observance has something for everyone."

Each year a different unit is responsible for hosting the events associated with the black heritage observance. This year, the 583rd Combat Sustainment Support Squadron is the host and more than 60 members from around Team Robins have volunteered to participate.

The entire base and local community is encouraged to support and participate in the events.

A complete calendar of events, POCs and scholarship opportunities available through the Maj. Gen. Joseph A McNeil chapter of Tuskegee Airman are available at www2.robins.af.mil/ blackhistory.