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Black History Month

Date: February 7, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Most of us have at one time in our life felt oppression in one form or another.  Most of us also have something about our history, our origins or our family that we identify as one of the factors that make up who we are.  Where we come from, our experiences and perspective, create the lenses through which we view the world.

February is Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in America.  It is an annual observance for remembrance of important people and events in the history of African Americans.  In 1926, Historian Carter G. Woodson pioneered the first celebration and designated the second week in February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  Woodson contended that the teaching of black history was essential to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race within broader society.

It is generally believed that Woodson hoped that eventually the need for this distinction would be eliminated, as black history became a fundamental piece of America's history.  However, since that time scholars have agreed that there is an importance to the history that could be otherwise overlooked and have affirmed this history deserves to be preserved unabridged.  There are events in our history, including the Civil Rights Movement, which have been pivotal to our growth and evolution both as a nation and as members of the human race.  While we have come a long way towards equality, we continue today to struggle with issues of social, economic and racial justice.

Black History Month is not just a month for African Americans.  It is a month for all of us and a time to reflect not only on what could have been done differently, but ultimately what has been done right with a focus on achievement.  For the first time in our U.S. history, we have an African-American President in the White House; forgetting for a moment how you may personally feel about this particular president, what progress this is from even 10 years ago!  As Members of AFA we have seen and been at the forefront of many changes in not only women's rights, but workers rights.  Marriage equality, including same gender marriage equality and weight and age discrimination are but a few of the topics that have touched the lives of Flight Attendants.  Despite these obstacles in our path to the road to equality, together, we have made progress.   Only together is progress even possible.

Our history is a roadmap.  History cannot give us a roadmap for the future, but it can give us a more honest understanding and perspective of ourselves and our humanity.  It is imperative that we embrace our history today so that we can create a better future for tomorrow.

In Solidarity,

Greg Davidowitch,
President
Linda F. Farrow,
Vice President
Jeffrey W. Heisey,
Secretary-Treasurer

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