News | March 2, 2015

Team Beale celebrates Black History Month

By Airman 1st Class Ramon A. Adelan 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Team Beale celebrated Black History Month with a luncheon to recognize the achievements made by African Americans in U.S. history Feb. 24, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

Approximately 100 members of Team Beale attended the event with more than 20 volunteers supporting the festivities. The committee was able to receive food donations, organize a live band and gather personnel to be a part of the event.

According to the African American History Month website, Black History Month began in February 1926 as Negro History Week by the awareness raised by Carter G. Woodson, Association for the Study of Negro Life and History founder. The celebration was later expanded in 1976, by President Gerald R. Ford. Ford urged Americans to "...seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."

The event included a catered venue, singing of the National Anthem, a presentation of some of those who contributed to African American history, and guest speaker Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesdal.

Tengesdal, a U-2 Dragon Lady pilot and 9th Reconnaissance Wing inspector general, spoke about her endeavors and the accomplishments of African Americans in U.S. history.

"I'm proud to be a part of a rich culture of trailblazers," Tengesdal said. "I describe them as trailblazers because they forged their own path and never let the past define their future. Their accomplishments inspired me to follow in their footsteps."

According to the Black History Month committee, they can't wait until next year's event, they hope it can continue to grow and be recognized.

"We had a great turnout at the event this year and everyone enjoyed themselves," said Tech. Sgt. Tikela Smith, Black History Month committee president. "It's awesome to have a great committee, they put a lot of time and effort in to this event."