Contact: Minister Ari S. Merretazon, M.S.CED
Armed Forces Veterans Will Come to WDC To Support An Exhibit for Kwanzaa
the National Holiday for African Americans
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2019, members of Pointman Soldiers Heart Ministry will arrive in Washington DC to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture to ask that an exhibit of the National African American Holiday Kwanzaa be erected in the museum. Last week, representatives of the mostly Vietnam Veterans group received notice that there was no such Kwanzaa exhibit representing the significant historical contributions to African American history and culture. This was an unbelievable and traumatizing notice to its members because during the Vietnam War Black soldiers celebrated Kwanzaa on the military basecamps and forward firebases, as well as the warships providing support for the ground troops often against the wishes of White command officers. But they prevailed and were allowed to celebrate Kwanzaa along with African Americans in the United States.
During the Vietnam War racism was a daily reality exhibited by the tacit approval permitting the flying of the Confederate Flag as a reminder to Black soldiers that White supremacy controlled their lives in terms of who got the unpopular assignments in the rear and dangerous deployments on the front lines. Essentially, they had to fight two wars; one against the Viet Cong and the other against Racists in the base camps and fire bases. The holiday Kwanzaa gave much respite from the racism and reinforced the dignity and cultural unity of Black soldiers. Now to hear that the Museum of African American History and Culture has excluded the very holiday they fought for in war and the sacrifices Black soldiers made for all Americans is deeply traumatic and stressful. How could the museum make such a huge mistake? Millions and millions of African Americans, including Black soldiers and veterans celebrated the very first cultural holiday for African Americans recognized by national and local governments, as well as countries all over the African Diaspora.
Pointman Soldiers Heart Ministry endorses the Kwanzaa Now Campaign calling for a Kwanzaa exhibit at NMAAHC, for more information on the campaign visit Kwanzaanow.org
We want to know why an exhibit of Kwanzaa is not in the museum and what was the process and procedures for making such a decision affecting African American people all over the world. We are coming to read our supportive press statement and encourage the museum to show Kwanzaa the proper honor it deserves. We will arrive on or about 9:30am from Philadelphia, PA.
Black Veterans (Pointman Soldiers Heart Ministry) full Press Release supporting Kwanzaa Now Campaign, download pdf