With two Tuskegee Airmen, the first president of the National Association of Black Military Women, and a half-dozen other veterans gathered before him, Program Chairman Brother Sean Jones sincerely and respectfully thanked all for their service. In this, Eta Omega Chapter’s second annual Black History Month presentation, the focus was squarely on those who served.
The program took place on Saturday, February 10th at the Wolf Creek Library in Atlanta. Brother Paul Simpson talked about America’s Black astronauts, most of whom were members of Omega Psi Phi. Brother Jason Jackson explained how, in 1921, Omegas in Atlanta helped Brother Carter G. Woodson bring attention to Black history as he was raising the profile of the group founded now known as ASALH, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Fifth and sixth graders in ASALH’s Know Thy Self Program also performed.
Retired Army Colonel Dolores Hampton spoke of how joining the military changed her life. Directing her comments to the girls in the audience, she said women must have self-discipline, be strong, be committed, and be ready to stand up to challenges.
Retired Army Colonel Brother Anthony Aiken, one of the first Blacks in the field of environmental science and engineering, described the racism he faced as a young lieutenant in Bosnia. He also offered this advice to the students: “Set your goals higher than you can reach…and then, REACH THEM!”
Civil rights activist and former State Representative Tyrone Brooks was the day’s final presenter. He reflected on how, 50 years ago, as a young field worker for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.), he rushed to Memphis, TN after learning that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been murdered there. Brooks now heads the Moore’s Ford Movement 365, a group demanding justice in the brutal murders of two Black couples and an unborn child in Monroe, Georgia in 1946.