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NEWS | Feb. 25, 2015

Ethics professor supports Fort Douglas with Black History observance

By Capt. Chad Nixon 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

FORT DOUGLAS, Utah – Historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, Lucy Carter, and Susie King Taylor were the topic of discussion during a Black History Month observance hosted by the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support) and the 96th Sustainment Brigade, Feb 25.

Soldiers and civilian gathered to listen to the presentation:  “African American Women and the Civil War: Spies, Soldiers, Recruiters, and Heroines.”

With it being the 150th year celebration of the Civil War, speaking with Soldiers seems only fitting,” said Dr. Karen Johnson, associate professor of education and director of graduate studies in the Department of Education, Culture and Society at the University of Utah.  “I have done a great deal of work researching Soldiers, it’s about time I started speaking to them.”

Johnson touched on topics such as former female slaves working as nurses and teachers and included first-hand accounts of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the first all-black unit to fight during the Civil War. 

“I had seen the movie Glory and found it very fascinating,” said Sgt. 1st Class William Yazzie, equal opportunity advisor for the 96th Sustainment Brigade.  “But when you hear actual accounts from the people involved it’s touching and inspiring to say the least.”  

The event concluded with a unit coin being presented to Johnson as a token of appreciation and gratitude for her time and Mr. Greg Rogers, equal opportunity advisor for the 807th provided closing remarks.

"The 807th Medical Command is proud to provide Soldiers and civilians throughout multiple commands an educational forum on Black History Month,” said Rogers.  “Our intent today was to educate and enlighten personnel on the contributions provided by a diverse workforce throughout history…and with the help of Dr. Johnson, I believe we did just that.”