Celebrating Black History Month through art at AAFB

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Throughout Black History Month, a committee of several Airmen from Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, put together events that celebrated black culture and history.

“We wanted to highlight the legacy and culture we came from, where we're going and how it ties into the Air Force's mission,” said Master Sgt. Stephanie Beil, 97th Force Support Squadron operations superintendent.

Some of the events consisted of using artwork and painting as ways to educate participants and honor African-American heritage.

“We have all types of Airmen in the Air Force, especially at this base,” said Senior Airman Amanda Edwards, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron logistics planner. “That includes African-American Airmen, and being that I am one of them, it's really important to me that we celebrate this time and this moment.”

Several events occurred throughout the month, the largest being the BHM breakfast where more than 30 people attended to see artwork and listen to speeches by Roberta Brady-Lee, Altus vice mayor, and Col. Blaine Baker, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander.

“Black History Month is important to me because not only do I come from a family with black history, I also have Airmen and leaders that come from it,” said Beil. “Therefore, it's important to me that everyone is educated and understands the culture.”

Brady-Lee spoke about her own life experiences and how she persevered while being reminded of her faith, roots and confidence.

“This is a time for all of us to come together to really sit down and reflect on the past and think about our future,” said Edwards. “I enjoyed the vice mayor’s speech about remembering your roots, where you came from and where you're going. Don't forget who you are and what you are building, roots are your legacy.”