Like many of you reading this, I have met some incredible famous people. Usually if the opportunity arises and you are afforded the chance to capture the moment you hope the person behind the camera is prepared to frame the shot. Before digital cameras were the norm, this photo was taken with film at an NBA All Star party in Washington, DC in 2001. I didn’t know the result until I picked up the photos from the drug store. It makes me laugh every time I see it because the composition is so random. Regardless, Dr. J was so charming and wonderful to meet.
*Oh snap! A photo a day for 365 days. My 365Project – A daily digital diary.*
This day is not about getting 30% off. It’s not about filling your belly with the best bar-b-que. Let’s remember why we have been granted this day off. Let’s honor, praise, support, thank, hug and/or remember those men and women who have donned a military uniform. Here are just a few personal images from my digital diary:
In another lifetime I worked in account management at an advertising agency. My clients were The Marines. You know, The Few. The Proud. I worked in urban marketing, so my focus was the African-American and Hispanic side of the business. I was honored to interact with all ranks of the Corps and share their stories with the public.
One story that has rarely been publicized is that of the Montford Point Marines, the first African-Americans who entered the United States Marine Corps from 1942 to 1949. Approximately 20,000 African-American recruits received training at Montford Point Camp during World War II. Now the camp is called Camp Johnson, after distinguished Sergeant Major Gilbert H. “Hashmark” Johnson. It’s located within Camp Lejeune; where amphibious assault training takes place.
In 2006 my colleagues and I traveled to Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina for a special ceremony to honor these trailblazing men. Actor Lou Gossett, Jr. was on hand to premiere a 60-minute documentary he narrated. With all the recent fan fare for the Tuskegee Airmen and the movie Red Tails, I still wish for the day that the Montford Point Marine story could reach a wider audience. To my knowledge the documentary only made it to a PBS station in Wilmington, North Carolina.
In honor of Black History Month it’s only fitting to honor the Montford Pointers, and Frank E. Petersen, Jr. — the first African-American Marine Corps aviator, who on this day was named the first African-American general of the Corps in 1979. Let the bugle call commence as we salute.
Black History Month Ad Created by The Uniworld Group, 2007
On February 11, 1990 at the age of 71 anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. Three years later he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Mandela was the first South African President elected in a fully represented democratic election, and served from 1994 – 1999. God bless him.
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. – Nelson Mandela, 20 April 1964, statement from the dock at the opening of the defense case in the Rivonia Trial