***image1***The dancers raised their arms toward the sky as the rumbling music began. In the swirl of motion that followed next, the Kaiserslautern African-American Heritage Committee Dance Troupe moved to celebrate the African-American Heritage Observation kick-off luncheon Feb. 1 at the Ramstein Officers’ Club.
The luncheon was held to commemorate the beginning of Black History Month in the KMC. It was attended by roughly 200 people, and included guests from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines, as well as many civilians. Col. Emerson Bascom, chief of Services for Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, was the guest speaker.
In addition to performances by KAAHC, the event also featured Airman 1st Class Jadale Staten, 435th Civil Engineer squadron, reading his original poem, “He Was Martin, He was Malcolm, He Was Proud!” (see sidebar).
There was also a rolling presentation on African-American heritage that was shown on large screens around the room.
According to Staff Sgt. Jamaal Cottrell, 38th Construction and Training Squadron and president of the Kaiserslautern African-American Heritage Committee, the luncheon was just a taste of things to come in February.
“We encourage folks to come out in the community to do and see different things,” he said. “We’re trying to raise awareness at different places – at schools and in the libraries, for instance.”
• Interested in learning more about African-American heritage? Check out the following events.
Today: Ethnic food sampling, African dances, history exhibit; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ramstein Community Center Annex.
Saturday: Def Poetry Jam, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Martini’s in the Ramstein Enlisted Club. Members are free, non-members pay $5.
Sunday: Games Night featuring spades, dominoes, bitwise challenge; 5 p.m. at Martini’s in the Ramstein Enlisted Club. Members are free, non-members pay $2.
Monday: Learn-a-bration, 9 a.m. at Ramstein Intermediate School.
Tuesday: Learn-a-bration, 9 a.m. at Ramstein Intermediate School.
Tuesday: Kid’s Club Quarterly Celebration, 6 p.m. at Ramstein Enlisted Club, Kaiserslautern African-American Heritage Committee Dance Troupe performs.
Feb. 17: KAAHC performance and showcase, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ramstein Base Exchange. African history performance or showcase at the top of every hour.
Feb. 21: Ramstein Commissary offers entertainment by Ramstein American Elementary School, guest speaker Pastor John Lowder, and traditional African-American food, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Feb. 23: Hip Hop am Ram, doors open 9 p.m., show starts 10 p.m. at Ramstein Enlisted Club. Members are free, non-members pay $5.
Feb. 24: Evening of History Gala at Sembach Combined Club. Social time 6 p.m., dinner 8 p.m.