CHERRY POINT - Our very own Valentina Wilson is attending Cherry Point's Black History Celebration Friday.
All authorized patrons of the air station are invited to attend a presentation by the Montford Point Association Cherry Point Chapter 36 in the air station theater, according to base officials.
The event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and will feature guest speaker Sgt. Maj. Christopher G. Robinson, the sergeant major for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
According to Cherry Point, more than 70 years ago, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 which barred government agencies and federal contractors from refusing employment in industries engaged in defense production on the basis of race, creed, color or national origin. This order opened a door for African Americans to begin serving in the Marine Corps.
Camp Montford Point, N.C., began training the first African American Marines on June 1, 1942, and within seven years more than 20,000 men earned the title of United States Marine at Montford Point.
In 1949, Camp Montford Point was deactivated and all new African American recruits were sent to Marine Corps Recruit Depots Parris Island and Camp Pendleton. During the Korean War, the Marine Corps was fully integrated.
The legacy of the "Montford Marine" has become an integral part of the illustrious and diverse history of the Marine Corps. This presentation by the local Montford Point Association Chapter is in celebration of the more than 70 years that African Americans have served as loyal brothers and sisters to their fellow Marines.