92nd Annual Black History Month Luncheon Feb. 24th
Hosted by the Founders of Black History Month
WASHINGTON —In February, more than 1000 educators, students, and community members from all walks of life will gather in the nation’s capital to commemorate Black History Month with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). ASALH’s 92nd annual Black History Month luncheon will be held on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Washington Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Doors open at noon.
In 1926, ASALH’s founder Dr. Carter G. Woodson created the annual Black History celebration, which highlights a theme of historical and current importance. This year’s theme is “African Americans in Times of War.” The luncheon program will feature distinguished representatives of the United States Armed Forces. They will discuss a range of topics, illuminating the extraordinary impact of African American military personnel who served their country while also fighting racism and inequality overseas and in the United States.
The confirmed panelists are Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Kip” Ward, president, Sentel Corporation; Maj. Jaspen “Jas” Boothe, U.S. Army Reserves and founder/president, Final Salute Inc.; and Maj. (Ret.) Dr. James Dula, CEO, James Dula Consulting. The luncheon emcee is WUSA9 EMMY and GRACIE award winning anchor Andrea Roane.
“Times of war inevitably provide the framework for many stories related to African American soldiers, veterans and civilians,” said ASALH’s National President Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. “This year’s Black History Month theme is filled with paradoxes of valor and defeat, of civil rights opportunities and setbacks, of struggles abroad and at home, and of catastrophic loss of life and the righteous hope for peace.”
“Black History Month is our time to focus national attention on the significant events and achievements of African Americans who advanced freedom and democracy,” said Higginbotham.
Prior to the luncheon, a featured authors’ event which is free and open to the public will allow individuals to interact with authors from across the nation who have written on a variety of issues related to African Americans and other topics. A variety of book types will also be represented, ranging from children’s books to scholarly works.
In keeping with custom and tradition for the past several years, the Deputy Postmaster General of the United States Ronald Stroman will reveal the 2018 Black Heritage Forever stamp, which honors legendary Hollywood performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne. During World War II, Horne entertained at camps for black servicemen, and after the war worked on behalf of Japanese Americans who were facing discriminatory housing policies. She worked with Eleanor Roosevelt in pressing for anti-lynching legislation. In the 1960s, Horne continued her high-profile work for civil rights, performing at rallies in the South, supporting the work of the National Council for Negro Women, and participating in the 1963 March on Washington.
Special award presentations will be made at the luncheon. Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, professor of History at Temple University and first African American to receive a PhD in History from George Washington University, will receive ASALH’s Living Legacy Award, which was initiated in partnership with Farmers Insurance. The award honors African American women and men who have engaged in extraordinary work to improve communities, institutions, organizations and family life.
In addition, Edgar Brookins, general/circulation manager for the Washington Afro American newspaper in Washington, D.C., will receive the Council Award of Special Recognition. ASALH established this award to acknowledge the contributions of individuals, institutions and corporations that make a substantial contribution to the success of ASALH in pursuing the mission of its founder Dr. Carter G. Woodson.