FORT LEE, Va. – Media are invited to attend a celebration of African American-Black History Month during an observance here at the Lee Theater, Thursday.

The annual program will be hosted by the 244th Quartermaster Battalion, 23rd Quartermaster Brigade and the Instalation Equal Opportunity Office. The Defense Contract Management Agency is also partnering for this event.

WHAT: African American/Black History Month Observance

WHO: Hosted by 244th Quartermaster Battalion, 23rd Quartermaster Brigade and the CASCOM and Fort Lee Equal Opportunity Office and Defense Contract Management Agency

WHEN: 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 9

WHERE: Lee Theater

The guest speaker is Dr. Patrick J. Bingham, assistant superintendent of operations and personnel, Prince George County Public Schools. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership and administration.

The observance, also known as National African-American History Month, annually celebrates achievements by African Americans and is a time to recognize the central role they have played in United States history. The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S. Few could have imagined African-Americans’ future contributions to music, art and literature that would be recognized by the global community. The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute has selected this year’s theme as “Crisis in Black Education”

“One cannot tell the story of America without preserving and reflecting on the places where African-Americans have made history,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Whitaker, 23rd QM Brigade EOA. “This observance prompts all to remember people who over time who have made significant impacts to the society.”

Credit for the evolving awareness of the true place of African-Americans in history can be attributed to – Carter G. Woodson. In 1915, he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history,” said Woodson.

Capt. Daniel Edowan-dagbon, commander, Alpha Company, 244th Quartermaster Battalion, is the lead coordinator for the observance. He said he is excited about this year’s presentation for the community.

The observance also will include historical static displays, skits, poems, and songs performed by a special guest, the 392nd Army Band and refreshments.

Media planning to attend must contact Sarah Gauvin at 804-734-6965, 804-400-7273 or by 10 a.m., Thursday to coordinate an escort to the event.

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Fort Lee Soldiers, families and civilian employees began a century of support to the nation in 1917 when Camp Lee was established to train the 80th Division for service during WWI. Today, Fort Lee is the Army’s Home of Sustainment and supports the training, education and development of adaptive Army professionals in fields such as transportation, supply, culinary arts and equipment repair and maintenance. Major organizations on the installation include the Defense Commissary Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, Combined Arms Support Command, the Army Logistics University, U.S. Army Ordnance School, U.S. Army Quartermaster School and U.S. Army Transportation School. Fort Lee supports nearly 86,000 Soldiers, retirees, veterans, family members and civilian employees and boasts an economic impact of about $2.4 billion per year.