The Military Heritage Museum in Punta Gorda will host a free lecture on Feb. 28 in honor of Black History Month, and will feature guest lecturer, James Abraham.

Abraham is a local historian, writer, editor, literary critic and former newspaper journalist.

This event is free and open to the public. Titled “A Call to Arms! Black Americans and the Military,” it will highlight the black military contributions from the Revolutionary War to modern conflicts.

The military history of African Americans spans from the arrival of the first enslaved Africans during the colonial history of the United States to the present day.

In every war fought by or within the United States, African Americans participated, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other minor conflicts.

African Americans have fought for the United States throughout its history, defending and serving a country that in turn denied them their basic rights as citizens.

Despite policies of racial segregation and discrimination, African American soldiers played a significant role from the colonial period to the Korean War.

It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that African American soldiers began to receive the recognition and equality they deserved.

At 3 p.m., there will be a viewing of an award- winning film, “A Distant Shore: African Americans of D-Day.”

This documentary requires an All Access Pass, which can be purchased on the museum website or in person.

Tickets for adults are $10 and $8 for veterans or youth.

This moving documentary film from The History Channel pays tribute to the valor and sacrifices of African American soldiers while shedding light on the discrimination and disregards that at times proved more threatening than the rigors of battle.

More than 1.2 million African Americans served in World War II, and although largely forgotten by history, nearly 2,000 of them stormed the beaches of Normandy.

Through dramatic recreations and in-depth interviews, we will discover the African American contribution to the Normandy Invasion.


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