Throughout the month of February, the United States commemorates National African American History Month by honoring African-Americans’ pivotal role in history. This role has been shaped by centuries of sacrifice, determination, and perseverance in the pursuit of a belief that embodies the best of the nation’s ideals: liberty and justice for all.
To commemorate this incredible legacy, the National Park Foundation established the African American Experience Fund (AAEF) in 2001 to support, preserve, and connect all Americans to the significant contributions of African-Americans to their country. To honor the significant contributions African-Americans have made to the nation, the National Park Service protects and maintains many African-American heritage sites across the country.
Visit the national parks dedicated to the unyielding strength of the African-American men and women who shaped our history, such as the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, which honors American hero Colonel Charles Young.
Young graduated as the third African-American from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was the first African-American Military Attaché to serve in Haiti, as well as the first foreign diplomat from any country. He was also the first African-American national park superintendent, the first African-American Colonel in the United States Army, and the highest ranking black officer during WWI.
The Colonel Charles Young Leadership Academy was established at the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio, preserving his credible legacy. The academy focuses on leadership, and through community service, it inspires young leaders to follow in the footsteps of a “officer and a gentleman” who never wavered in his pursuit of excellence.
Participation in National Parke programs is possible by attending events held across the country. You can also reflect on and interact with the historical and cultural treasures that the AAEF works tirelessly to preserve. AAEF will keep updating the listings throughout the month to ensure that the bookmark pages are visible. At this historic memorial in Washington, D.C., many Americans remember and honor the African-American soldiers and sailors of the Civil War.
The African-American Civil War Memorial honors over 200,000 African-American soldiers and sailors who fought for the Union during the American Civil War. The memorial includes a 9-foot bronze statue of The Spirit of Freedom by Ed Hamilton, as well as walls inscribed with the names of the men who served in the war.