Common Defense Celebrates Black History Month and African American Veterans

February 1st, 2022

WASHINGTON — As our nation begins its celebration of Black History Month, Common Defense, the largest progressive veterans organization in the country, takes a moment to recognize the sacrifices of Black service members. This month and every month, we honor the contributions of African American members of our military, both past and present.

Common Defense Executive Director Jose Vasquez issued the following statement:

“At Common Defense, we honor the Black service members who have fought and died as members of our armed forces. Throughout our nation’s history, dating back to before America’s independence, Black veterans sacrificed for a country that refused to treat them as full citizens. Too often, the stories of Black members of the military – both past and present, are left untold. This Black History Month, Common Defense will elevate these stories.

“We plan to use this Black History Month as a time for reflection. We recognize the history of racism and segregation within our armed forces, and we celebrate those who tore down these barriers. From the Montford Point Marines, Tuskegee Airmen, and Golden Thirteen, to the Harlem Hellfighters, Buffalo Soldiers, and many more, we are proud to honor the legacy and sacrifices of our nation’s Black veterans this February.

“While it is an important time to learn from our past, Black History Month is also an opportunity for us to look towards the future and reaffirm our commitment to building an America that embraces everyone and where liberty and justice are truly a reality for all. Even today, many elected officials still use Jim Crow tactics to suppress Black voters. This month we will hold a panel to uplift the voices of Black veterans. Topics will include the contributions of the Black community, the impact of race in elections, voting rights, and how to continue the legacy of multiracial movements for social change. We invite you to join Common Defense throughout this month as we celebrate the Black veterans, past and present, who made a lasting impact on the progressive movement and on our nation as a whole.

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