Commentary

February 21, 2013

History is not for me

Commentary by Senior Airman Timothy Moore
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Whenever I fill out a form that asks me about my race, I take pride in marking the box labeled African American/Black. I am proud of my skin tone; my ethnicity; and to the extent that my knowledge of it allows me, my heritage; but I am not that fond of African American/Black History month.

That is not to say that I hate, or even dislike, what the month is designated for. I honestly think I just hate the name and the connotation that comes along with it.

It sounds silly actually writing it out, but look at it this way: over the past year, I have celebrated Native American Heritage month, I have danced for Asian/Pacific American Heritage month and, while I did not actively participate in the Hispanic Heritage month, I was aware of the events being held for it. In each of these months, we talked about the heritage and the things each culture continues to do even today.

That is what I think of when I hear the word heritage: traditions that are surviving the test of time. Whenever I hear about history, I think about times that have gone by and will likely never come back. I do not want to talk about my history; I want to talk about my heritage.

It did not always mean as much to me, because I was not taught to cherish my heritage. I was taught to be proud in the fact that African Americans/Blacks had done great things. Yet, I was never really made aware of the great things African Americans/Blacks are still doing. I had become disconnected with what should have been a large part of my life.

This disconnect was not just between me and my heritage. In my schools, we would often focus only on the history of people who were actually in the continental U.S. I could not understand why we separated African American history from the rest of American history, especially when some African American history played a direct role in the American history we studied during the rest of the school year.

It was not until I attended college that I began to understand why this bothered me. Then, that understanding was solidified when I joined the U.S. Air Force. It was actually when I took a look at the Airman’s Creed. There is a line that sticks out very strongly to me.

“I am faithful to a proud heritage.”

For most, this statement refers only to the heritage of the Air Force, but I want it to refer to my heritage as well. We continually strive to keep the values and traditions of the Air Force of old intact, so why should I not strive to keep the values and traditions of my people intact.

I am not asking for much here either. I just do not want to celebrate my history. I want to celebrate my heritage. So, keep your history and give me my heritage.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Eliminating stigma: A leadership responsibility

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As a child, a close relative of mine committed suicide. In those days, mental health was only discussed in hushed tones and little support was available. I was shaped by this experience and in my military career, I have tried to create an environment where people feel comfortable discussing their problems and...
 
 

New form second chance to do EPRs right

Without fail, every time I am around a group of young NCOs, there is one subject guaranteed to come up — the enduring question of “How can I write a stronger EPR for my Airman?” My answer to this question is fairly standard and is one that a chief shared with me many years ago....
 
 
CDOS_pict

Summer safety campaign wraps up

Langley AFB, Va. — As summer wraps up and it becomes time to put away the jet skis and grills, it is important to remember that safety should remain a priority throughout the year. The summer safety campaign is intended t...
 

 

The JAG Corps announces law school programs: FLEP, ELP

Applications for the Funded Legal Education Program and Excess Leave Program are being accepted from Jan. 1 through March 1, 2015.  Interested officers are encouraged to compete. The number of FLEP and ELP applicants selected n any academic year is determined based on the needs of the Air Force. “Our Air Force missions are constantly...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystie Martinez)

Summer burnout

Langley Air Force Base, Va. — Some of the very things we enjoy during the summer can also wear us down. Juggling work, family schedules, vacation times, and outdoor squadron activities can take a toll. The chronic engagem...
 
 

A photojournalist’s perspective of an AFSOUTH mission

There I was lying in bed. My eyes slowly opened and I was instantly irritated, because my alarm hadn’t gone off yet. I hate waking up before I have to. For a moment I forgot where I was. The bed was too comfortable, the room too clean and there was food in the fridge, so...
 




One Comment


  1. MSgt J. Gonzalez

    Great commentary–deep, thought-provoking and well-written.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin