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Team Shaw amplifies black voices

Airman sitting at panel

U.S. Senior Airman Helena, 25th Attack Group command support staff technician, speaks during the Black History Month panel at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 26. 2021. Team Shaw came together to provide a space to amplify black voices and honor the significant contributions black Americans and Airmen have made to our country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destani K. Matheny)

Airman sitting at panel

U.S. Staff Sgt. Shelton, 25th Attack Group sensor operator, left, and John Kennedy, 20th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Center chief, speak during the Black History Month panel at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 26. 2021.Team Shaw came together to provide a space to amplify black voices and honor the significant contributions black Americans and Airmen have made to our country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destani K. Matheny)

Photo of Airman talking at a panel

U.S. Tech Sgt. Abishai, 25th Attack Group instructor sensor operator, speaks during the Black History Month panel at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 26. 2021. Team Shaw came together to provide a space to amplify black voices and honor the significant contributions black Americans and Airmen have made to our country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destani K. Matheny)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The 25th Attack Group hosted a Black History Month panel at Shaw Air Force Base, Feb. 26.

Airmen came together to provide a space to amplify black voices and honor the significant contributions black Americans and Airmen have made to our country.

“Having this panel gave us an opportunity to start some conversations that are much needed,” said John Kennedy, 20th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center chief. “If we’re ever going to get to the point where we’re going to make things better for everyone around us, that process starts with educating and hearing each other so that we can better understand each other.”

Throughout the discussion, volunteers shared their personal stories and spoke to the accomplishments of black Airmen.

“In 1996, interracial marriages were still illegal in South Carolina,” said Tech. Sgt. Abishai, 25th Attack Group instructor sensor operator. “My wife is mixed and she was born in 1994, so she was technically born illegal. My son is five years old and she and I have already talked about what conversations we need to have with him in order to prepare him for the world we live in right now and the realities he may have to face in the future.”

This year marks Black History Month’s 45th year of being recognized since its beginnings when former President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area throughout our history.”