Former Guard general speaks at Black History Program

The man who led the Mississippi National Guard in Iraq came home to Camp Shelby today to speak about the important accomplishments of African-Americans both inside and outside the armed forces.  Retired Brigadier General Augustus Collins was the keynote speaker at a Black History Month observance at the post.

Collins, who commanded the 155th Infantry Brigade in Iraq, is also the first African-American general officer in the Mississippi National Guard.  He retired last year and now serves as one of 3 commissioners for the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission.

"All of our history in this country is important and you can't understand the whole without understanding the pieces and that's where African-American history comes in," said Collins.  "So, in order to be able to appreciate the entire history of this country, you have to study other parts.  And that's why February is set aside, so that we can actually study the contributions that African-Americans have made to this country," he said.

Today's observance also included a video presentation of famous black Americans.