As our country begins its annual celebration of Black History Month, Common Defense announced it will dedicate the month to sharing stories from Black veterans and servicemembers from throughout our country’s history. Earlier today, the country’s largest membership organization of progressive veterans released the following statement:
Since before our country’s inception, Black servicemembers have fought and died as a part of our Armed Forces. For generations, Black veterans sacrificed everything for a country that failed to treat them as full citizens. The legacies left behind by those Black veterans of old, as well as the experience of Black veterans today, has long deserved elevation in our national discourse. This Black History Month, Common Defense hopes to do just that: uplift the stories of the Black veterans who served with dignity and distinction for more than two centuries.
Black History Month is a time for recognition. This month and in perpetuity, we recognize the policies of segregation and abuse faced by Black veterans of our Armed Forces. We recognize the barriers overcome by now-mythologized leaders such as Medgar Evers, Whitney Young, and even Harriet Tubman; the famed Tuskegee Airmen, Golden Thirteen, Harlem Hellfighters, Buffalo Soldiers, Colored Regiments, and the Montford Point Marines, all among many others who took an oath to an imperfect nation in the hopes of making it better. We recognize that barriers still exist in our armed forces today, and even amid the historic appointment of Lloyd Austin as our nation’s first Black Secretary of Defense, our military still faces significant challenges in regards to racial equity.
Amid this important time for recognition, Black History Month is also a time to celebrate our collective history, not to mention the opportunity our veterans have to move forward and unite in that celebration. We hope that you will join Common Defense throughout this month as we celebrate the Black veterans, past and present, who have made their mark on our Armed Forces and our nation—as well as the lessons and guidance they brought the progressive movement today.
Team Common Defense