African American Military Expo debuts at Expo Center

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LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA — The African-American Military Experience at the Long Beach Expo Center is a free exhibit that focuses on the hardships and triumphs that black military personnel have faced throughout history.

The exhibit, titled Forgotten Images, examines the lives of African-American troops in the military through a series of exhibits that will run for six months, focusing on various facets of African-American culture in the United States. States, including, but not limited to, Long Beach.

Sharon Diggs-Jackson, one of the exhibit’s board members, told us about the museum’s goals and what they intend to achieve for the duration of the exhibit.

“The vision of this exhibit is to educate, honor and excite…We want to educate people about our military history and the role of African American soldiers who served,” Diggs-Jackson said.

Sharon Mclucas, co-owner of Forgotten Images, spoke about how the exhibit would teach future generations about the issues that African Americans have faced and continue to endure.

“People today will not experience the trials and tribulations that took place in the military or even occurred in our daily lives…We want to teach the children of today that there it’s about progression, not regression, and seeing all of these (artifacts) up close can help people today learn from history’s past mistakes,” Mclucas said.

After examining some of the treasures and artifacts carefully displayed on tables or mounted on walls; many of which are in near perfect condition, Mclucas expressed the authenticity of the artifacts.

“My husband and I took a jeep and came home with a trailer…we started the collection with salt and pepper shakers and it just evolved into what it is today. All of the artifacts you see here are real and hold history in their palms,” she pointed to various photographs and news articles, most of them ageless.

Over the next six months, the installation will focus on African Americans and minorities in military history:

  • December 2021: American Military History and African-American Generals
  • January 2022: Military heroes and the medical profession
  • February 2022: LB Military Service and Heroes of the Sea
  • March 2022: Women’s History Month
  • April 2022: Long Beach takes off
  • May 2022; Salute to ALL Long Beach Veterans

Additional details about the exhibit can be found here.

By Sofia Youngs

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