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National African-American History Month: Kirtland Children learn about hardships and achievements during book reading

A Master Sgt. reads to a child at the Kirtland Youth Center.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Danielle Lawson, member of the Kirtland African-American Heritage Month committee reads a story to a group at the Youth Center on KAFB, New Mexico, Feb. 19, 2020. The committee hosted the book reading to spread knowledge about the achievements made by Black/African-Americans in honor of National African-American Heritage Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiana Pearson)

Children read a book together during an event held at the Kirtland Youth Center.

Children gather around during a book-reading event at the Youth Center on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Feb. 19, 2020. KAFB African-American Heritage committee members organized the event to honor the achievements of Black/African-Americans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiana Pearson)

A Master Sgt. answers a question during an event at the Kirtland Youth Center.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Danielle Lawson, member of the Kirtland Air Force Base African-American Heritage Month committee, answers a child’s question during a book reading held at the Youth Center on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Feb. 19, 2020. The committee hosted the event to spread knowledge about the achievements made by Black/African-Americans in honor of National African-American Heritage Month (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiana Pearson)

A child speaks during a group discussion at the Kirtland Youth Center.

A child eagerly discusses his thoughts about racism, slavery and discrimination at the Youth Center on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Feb. 19, 2020. Children participated in an open discussion facilitated by African-American Heritage committee members in honor of National African-American Heritage Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiana Pearson)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Volunteers from Kirtland Air Force Base African-American Heritage committee read stories and discussed the hardships and achievements of Black/African-Americans during a book reading to more than 90 students at the Youth Center on Feb. 19, 2020 as part of National African-American History Month at KAFB, New Mexico.

“Today we just wanted to get a chance to talk to the children about black history month,” said Airman 1st Class Jeremy Moore, 377th Medical Group bioenvironmental technician and African-American Heritage committee member. “We want to give them insight on how black influential leaders paved the way for not only us here in the Air Force, but also for the children we are speaking to and the leaders in place today.”

The light peeking through the windows of the Youth Center illuminated small faces of children as they sat together to listen to the stories of historical icons like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman. 

“I can remember when I was young and had these moments where older individuals came and read to me about this,” said Moore. “It meant a lot to me.”

An older group of children participated in a discussion, facilitated by the committee members on topics that included racial inequality and slavery.  Childrens' hands raised eagerly to share what they learned about history.

Moore says that he was impressed with the knowledge that the children contributed to the discussion and hoped that they continue to recognize the importance of diversity.

 “We all can benefit from each other and equality,” Moore said. “I’m hoping that the kids can benefit from this and understand that black people play an important role in the community.”