Posts Tagged 'African American'

How the Civil Rights Movement Influenced our Community

The following essay by Kevin Perry, grade 9, is the second place winner in the Stuttgart Community African-American/Black History Month Essay Contest. The contest asked submitters to describe how they feel the Civil Rights Movement has helped unify and strengthen the community.


How the Civil Rights Movement Influenced our Community

By Kevin Perry

The Civil Rights movement has been one of the most unifying acts in the American history. It not only made us stronger as a country but it made us stronger as a people. Because of it many people have succeed great heights, such as General Ward. Without that movement our culture would not have such diversity. In my mind, that’s one of the best things that came out of the Civil Rights movement, Diversity. That is one of the things that has changed our community the most, and for the best.

As a result of the movement, people have come to live in peace with each other. Peace and harmony are one of the greatest and hardest achievements one could make, and to see a whole community achieve this is spectacular.  Even as one walks through the halls of the school, one not only sees great friendships being made, but long lasting experiences.  I believe that the Civil Rights movements cause this. It has given people a chance to know somebody from a different family, life, background, and ethnicity. Although people might not get along, when it comes down to it we are all brothers and sisters.

As people, we tend to think of different as bad. I believe that after the Civil Rights movement the American people changed their look on that a little. We have come to accept people no matter what they look like. Just as Dr. Martin Luther King jr. said “ I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” I think that as a community, we are the ones that can either make this happen or not. We have the power to either judge people on looks or character. After the Civil Rights movement we as a people chose to judge others on character.

Our civilization is based on what the people of our country would like done with our country. After the Civil Rights movement was the only time when this really was true. It was the only time when American citizens saw something wrong and came together to fix it. That is one of the reasons our country is so great. The fact that if one sees something wrong, that person has the power to fix it. That’s what the Civil Rights movement was about. Fixing a problem that the people saw necessary to fix.

After the Civil Rights movement African Americans in our country got more rights and were equals. Even though that’s what people said, it still wasn’t like that all the way. We are still growing as a country. And because we are growing as a country, we are still growing to bring equal rights to everyone. Not only equal rights, but equal opportunities. We now have a African American president roughly 50 years. I believe that we will keep growing to achieve even more equality in our country. I believe this will be achieved and it is thanks to the Civil Rights movement.

Strengthening Our Community Through Unity

General William E. "Kip" Ward, commander, U.S. Africa Command presents Mykayla Fernandes the first-place award

General William E. "Kip" Ward, commander, U.S. Africa Command presents Mykayla Fernandes the first-place award

The following essay submitted by Mykayla Fernandes, age 17, grade 12, won first place in the Stuttgart Community African-American/Black History Month Essay Contest, in which  submitters were asked to describe how they feel the Civil Rights Movement has helped unify and strengthen the community.

“Strengthening Our Community Through Unity”

By Mykayla Fernandes

The Civil Rights Movement has helped unify and strengthen our community through diversity.  Many have come to know and understand through history, that all civil rights activists were not only African American.  We have been unified and strengthened through our acceptance and tolerance of each individual background and cultural differences.  A community is only as strong as the people who live in them.  With the right kind of thinking we may achieve the right kind of outcome suitable to all who come and live in our community.  Strength, I feel, is through unified acceptance of one another’s neighbors.  The Civil Rights Movement helped open the eyes of the world to the equality of people and through the unity of people, the civil rights help many to see that we are different in some areas but similar in many other areas.

Military families are a great example of social awareness and unity.  We as a people, meaning military communities, have a broad and diverse group of people that work together daily.   Whether at home, school or work, we see to it that each person in our community join together to help and assist one another whenever and wherever needed.  My family recently came here from the states where I was in a magnet school.  It definitely had its advantages academically but I was missing something.  Once coming here to a totally different environment, living on a military base and going to a DoD school, I saw what I was missing, unity with diversity.  I have been so excited about the different things going on in the community with each culture.  We have the opportunity to learn more about one another, understand why certain things are done in each culture, and participate in some of the activities.  This is a place to indulge in unity through diversity.  It also shows the strength we have as a community with the willingness of all those involved willing to come together and share their native authenticity with others in their community.

Hardships have a way of bringing people together. No matter their background, occupation, or gender. When one shares a similar cause, those demographics no longer mean anything. What is important is that they work together to support a common cause – a cause that personally affects each of them, and therefore, creates an unbreakable bond. The Civil Rights Movement did just that. The fighting and chaos that was going on affected many people in many different ways from all ethnicities – not just African Americans – and brought them all closer together through the pain and suffering they had to endure. The Civil Rights Movement is one that we will never forget.  We as a people welcome more Dr. Martin Luther King’s and Malcom X’s.  If this is what it took to get us to come together and stay unified years later and for years to come, I feel, the Civil Rights Movement is a success that shall live on forever.

General Receives Trumpet Award for Inspiring Others

MARIETTA, Georgia, Feb 4, 2010 — General William E. Ward, commander, U.S. Africa Command, became a Trumpet Award recipient, January 30, 2010, during the 18th Annual Trumpet Awards, for his ability to inspire others through his extensive military career.

“It is a pretty cool award,” Ward told reporters during media interviews after the presentation.

Men and women who have achieved success through consistency and longevity in a chosen profession or career and who through their achievements inspire others are eligible for consideration for this award, according to event officials.

Ward said that those who have been – and are – inspired by his life’s work are simply inspired by the work of a hard-working soldier, which makes being a role model easier.

“I am a soldier first, and as a soldier, I’ve always tried to do what I’d been asked to do and do it the very best I can,” he said. “I take the obligation (of being a role model) very freely, but I also take it knowing that maybe if I can be an inspiration to others then that’s OK with me.”

“If (individuals) do the things (they) are asked to do well … such that (one’s) teammates are better off because of what has been done, then all will benefit from that,” Ward explained. “In the military, (individuals) are given the opportunity to make a difference because of what (he or she) does and how (he or she) does it…not necessarily because of what (he or she) looks like.”

Ward’s inspiration toward a successful military career came from his father, who is deceased and who was a proud World War II veteran. Through military service, Ward said his father was afforded many opportunities as many servicemembers are afforded today.

“Today’s situation is the same,” he said.

The military is a launch pad for individuals to use their service experience to acquire character, discipline and professionalism-skills that will serve them well in both military and civilians career fields, Ward added.

Ward is the fifth African American to be promoted to the rank of four-star general in U.S. Army history.

As an African American and senior Army leader, Ward sees his accomplishments and the accomplishments of other military leaders as signs that the Army is a well-rounded institution.

“It represents that our Army is indeed a diverse organization. It is the strength of that diversity from which we all benefit,” Ward said. “As we take advantage of all the diversity that exists and the contributions each member can make, we as a whole are better…a better institution…a better Army.”

By Paul Prince
U.S. Army News Service

To offer your congratulations to General “Kip” Ward, please use the comment section below.

Thank you,

AFRICOM public affairs office


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