It’s reasonable to ask why I’m qualified to write a column about Black History Month, being neither Black nor a historian. Tasked with writing one, I asked myself the same question. It occurred to me that just as all politics are local, all history is personal.

The point of Black History Month is to recognize, celebrate and to simply remember the contributions Black Americans have made to the benefit of our nation and society.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206;

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(6) comments

Richard Illyes

Wonderful story. The role of the military in ending segregation and providing a performance based path to success is one of the major accomplishments of our society. My first platoon sergeant was Black, and the NCO Academy I attended had lots of Blacks. My Army experience was also the major formative experience of my life. A well told tale Sergeant Smith.

michaelsmith Staff
Michael A. Smith

I appreciate the feedback. I think the Army, and probably the military in general, was way ahead of every other sector of society on that account.

John Merritt

Thank you Michael. I agree, Blacks in the military have received the worst kind of discrimination - after they come home. When you would hope that they would receive the respect they have earned. Great story.

michaelsmith Staff
Michael A. Smith

I can comment only on my own limited experience, but I never met a military leader who seemed to care much about race. If you could show up at the right place, at the right time, with the right stuff, that's all that mattered. People like that were too few to begin with to get caught up in such details.

Bailey Jones


Raymond Lewis

Good story Michael.

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