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The 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Phoenix VA Clinic 2023

The 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Phoenix VA Clinic: A community celebration of African American culture, history & racial equality.

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On June 16, 2023, the Phoenix VA Clinic was host to the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration, presented by the Black Employment Special Emphasis Program. Highlighting the significance of Juneteenth and celebrating the contributions of Black people in American history and culture, the event was well planned and successfully conveyed the message.


Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19, the day on which Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, and declared that all slaves in the state were to be set free, marking the end of slavery in the United States.


The Phoenix VA Clinic celebration included a range of activities and events, aimed at educating attendees about the importance of Juneteenth and celebrating the contributions of Black people to American history and culture.

The celebration included a beautiful rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” sung by Barbara Williams. Keynote speakers shared their insights and perspectives on the significance of Juneteenth, and discussed the impact that Black people have had on American society.

The event featured an outstanding lineup of speakers who brought their unique perspectives on Juneteenth and its impact on American society. Among the distinguished guests were Phoenix VA Medical Center Director, Bryan Matthews, ASU professor, Dr. Kenja Hassan, and Shayla Cole, an accomplished ASU Alum. Diana Gregory, an honoree of the event, was recognized for her non-profit organization, “Diana Gregory Fresh Market, and her contributions to “Veggies for Vets, a program that provides veterans access to fresh and healthy produce.

Of course, no Juneteenth celebration would be complete without food, and the Phoenix VA Clinic event was no exception. Attendees were able to enjoy delicious food and drinks, including soul food, and Caribbean cuisine from food trucks that were set up in the parking lot outside the clinic.

Overall, the 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Phoenix VA Clinic 2023 was an important and impactful event, celebrating the contributions of Black people to American society and reminding us all of the ongoing struggles for racial justice. We can only hope that next year’s event will be even bigger and better.

For more information on Juneteenth, check out this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneteenth

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Black History

The Alabama National Guard Celebrates Arrival of F-35A Jets and Honors Tuskegee Airmen Legacy

Alabama National Guard celebrates F-35A arrival, honoring Tuskegee Airmen, marking a pivotal shift in military readiness and legacy continuation.

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The Alabama National Guard recently showcased the world’s most advanced combat aircraft, the F-35A Lighting II stealth fighter jets, in a ceremony and flight show in Montgomery. This celebration not only highlighted the Guard’s vital role in national military readiness but also paid homage to the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.

“Alabama National Guard Unveils F-35A Jets: Honoring Tuskegee Airmen Legacy”

In 2017, the Air Force selected Alabama’s 187th Fighter Wing as the F-35A’s home base, solidifying this decision after thorough planning and environmental analysis in 2020. The arrival of the first three F-35 jets in December marked a significant milestone for the unit, which is set to replace the F-16s with these fifth-generation aircraft.

During the ceremony, Col. Brian Vaughn emphasized the unit’s readiness to carry forward the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, drawing inspiration from their dedication and sacrifice. The event was graced by Governor Kay Ivey and other officials, underscoring the importance of this transition to the F-35s.

Lt. Col. Richard Peace, a seasoned member of the Alabama Air National Guard, highlighted the game-changing technology of the F-35, emphasizing its superiority in combat scenarios. The aircraft’s advanced capabilities, including long-range threat detection and stealth features, signify a significant advancement in aerial warfare.

The road to acquiring the F-35s was a collaborative effort involving military leaders, congressional delegations, local officials, and private citizens. Col. Casey Hall reiterated the lasting impact of this program on the Alabama Air National Guard, emphasizing its longevity and relevance in modern warfare.

With plans to receive a total of 20 F-35s over the next five years, the 187th Fighter Wing is gearing up for full operational capability by 2026. This transition not only secures military and civilian jobs but also cements the unit’s legacy as a continuation of the Tuskegee Airmen’s fighter squadron.

The arrival of the F-35s represents a significant milestone for the Alabama National Guard, positioning them as a key player in global operations and underscoring their commitment to excellence and innovation in military aviation. The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen lives on through the 187th Fighter Wing, ensuring that their spirit of bravery and service endures for generations to come.

https://www.al.com/news/2024/02/alabama-air-national-guards-red-tails-wing-show-off-new-fighter-jets.html

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Black History

Honoring Black Poets: Celebrating Black Poetry Day

Celebrate Black Poetry Day on October 17th, honoring the voices of black poets and their profound impact on literature. #BlackPoetryDay

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Black Poetry Day is a significant occasion that takes place on October 17th each year. This special day pays homage to the rich legacy of black poets, both past and present, while commemorating the birth of Jupiter Hammon, the first published black poet in the United States.


Born on October 17th, 1711, in Long Island, New York, Hammon paved the way for generations of black poets to come. Black Poetry Day serves as a platform to honor his contribution and the contributions of countless other black poets who have used their words to inspire, educate, and promote social change.

This day holds immense cultural and historical importance, emphasizing the value of black heritage and literacy. By recognizing the literary achievements of black poets, we acknowledge their unique perspectives, experiences, and voices. It is an opportunity to appreciate the power of poetry as a tool for expression, connection, and empowerment.

On Black Poetry Day, let us immerse ourselves in the works of black poets, explore their narratives, and celebrate their profound impact on literature and society. It is a day to honor the past, embrace the present, and inspire future generations to continue the rich tradition of black poetry. #BlackPoetryDay

https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-day/black-poetry-day-october-17

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Black History

Danille Taylor, Professor of African American Studies at Clark Atlanta University, Named New Director of University’s Historical Art Museum

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ATLANTA /PRNewswire/ — Clark Atlanta University recently named Danille Taylor, Ph.D., as the Director of its art museum (CAUAM). Taylor is a professor of African American Studies at the University and has served as interim museum director since August 2022. Under her leadership, the museum reopened in October 2022 with three new exhibitions, including “Our Friend Jean, the Early Works of Jean Michele Basquiat,” which drew more than 1300 attendees during its week-long run

Dr. Danille K. Taylor Director Clark Atlanta University Art Museum

“Dr. Taylor’s experience, determination, and perseverance serve her well in this role,” said Jaideep Chaudhary, Dean and Professor of the School of Arts and Sciences. “Danille was instrumental in bringing the collective works of Basquiat, one of the museum’s most successful exhibitions, to Clark Atlanta University. Additionally, she led the charge to secure and curate two more exhibits for the 2022-2023 exhibition season: “From Black Spring to the Eternal” and “The Audacious Platform.” CAUAM is thriving under her leadership, and her efforts to advance the museum to the next level are meritorious.”

Dr. Taylor brings 17 years of experience in higher education administration to her role. Her background includes serving at three universities as Dean of the schools in which art museums were housed. This facilitated her development of appropriate strategies aligned with Clark Atlanta’s art museum’s mission and purpose. In addition to her work as a professor and educator, she studied under Edmund Barry Gaither at Boston University, founder of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston, and the first president of the African American Museum Association, where she became grounded in African American visual art history. Moreover, Dr. Taylor, alongside famed artist Dr. Margaret Burroughs, served on the Board of Directors at Chicago’s renowned DuSable Museum of African American History, where she garnered intimate exposure to the museum’s collections, management, finances, educational mission, and programming. While in Illinois, Taylor also taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

CAU administrator and visual artist Sam D. Burston states, “While serving as Interim Director, I have observed Dr. Taylor’s commitment and passion for the CAU Museum. In her new role as Director, she will not only elevate the university treasure to a renewed level of excellence and awareness; she will also develop programs and key initiatives which will honor the legacy of its founder, Hale Woodruff, while showcasing the significant essence of African American culture through our historic art collection.” 

Under Dr. Taylor’s tenure as interim director, Clark Atlanta University began its work as a member of the inaugural group of HBCUs to participate in the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s HBCU History and Culture Access Consortium to digitize the permanent collection and complete the conservation of the Hale

Woodruff murals “The Art of the Negro.”  A grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) for $100,000 has also been secured to hire a registrar/collection manager.

Dr. Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree in English and African American Studies, a Master of Arts degree from Boston University in African American Studies, and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies from Brown University.  She is editor of Conversations with Toni Morrison and coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to African American Women’s Writing.

About Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing, “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu.

SOURCE Clark Atlanta University

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