NEWS | Feb. 10, 2021

Georgia National Guard Celebrates Black History Month 2021

By Cpl. Isaiah Matthews

The Georgia National Guard observed Black History month with a “Black History: An American History” presentation, Feb. 10, 2021, at Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Georgia. A small gathering of spectators attended while the Georgia National Guard livestreamed the event due to COVID-19 considerations.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Tom Carden, The Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard presided over the ceremony and gave the opening speech.

“Today is a celebration of success,” said Carden. “We have to be intentional that the playing field is level, so every young man or young woman has a path to the top.”

The ceremony began with a reading of President Joe Biden’s Black History Month proclamation. The proclamation called for harmony and unity between races and incorporated a declaration mandating February as Black History Month.

“We must change. It will take time. But I firmly believe the Nation is ready to make racial justice and equity part of what we do today, tomorrow, and every day,” Biden said in the proclamation. “I urge my fellow Americans to honor the history made by Black Americans and to continue the good and necessary work to perfect our Union for every American.”

Following the proclamation reading, the ceremony presented a video comprised of African American Georgia National Guardsmen sharing their military experiences and how Black history impacted their careers.

The guest of honor was U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Kanata Crumbly, the director of the joint staff for the Georgia National Guard. Crumbly delivered a speech addressing members of the armed services on recent events that impacted the African American community.

The Georgia National Guard has promoted many African Americans to higher ranks within the organization, such as Crumbly. Crumbly, who was promoted last year to brigadier general, is the first African American to serve as the director of the joint staff for the Georgia National Guard. Additionally, he became the first African American to serve as the 116th Air Control Wing commander.

The Georgia National Guard remains committed to equal and fair treatment of all personnel despite race, gender, religion, sexuality and all other demographics.

“No matter where you stand on your view of the world, if you are in this uniform, there is one thing you must identify with above all else,” said Crumbly. “That is supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States of America.”