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News | Feb. 22, 2017

Performers chronicle African American history through music

By Jason Kaneshiro DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

The Naval Support Activity Philadelphia workforce experienced a multimedia journey through nearly a century of history as expressed through music during the African-American History Month observance Feb. 14.

The Three Soulful Tenors, a Key Arts Production group, performed a selection of blues, jazz, Motown and soul music from the 20th century and provided the context of that moment of African-American history when the songs were released.

Events like these encourage a greater understanding of different perspectives, backgrounds and talents of a culturally diverse workforce, Army Brig. Gen. Charles Hamilton, DLA Troop Support commander, said.

“We also get to recognize the importance of diversity and appreciating other points of view resulting in a stronger workforce,” Hamilton said.

The performance chronicled music’s early role in the African-American church through the civil rights movement to modern times.

Joseph Patterson, president of Key Arts Productions, produced the show and said that he felt it was important for audiences to learn about the African-American experience to further understanding and build a stronger country.

“That’s what our mission is, to promote diversity,” Patterson said.

Patterson said that he thinks that today’s artists understand their global reach and that they are musical ambassadors.

“I think it’s important that they carry on that legacy of creativity and bridging all of us throughout the world,” Patterson said.

Donna Graham, a division chief with DLA Troop Support’s Construction and Equipment supply chain, said the musical production was entertaining.

“It was refreshing,” Graham said. “Hearing music helps revive me and I think having things like this does help to build resiliency.”

The DLA Troop Support Equal Employment Opportunity office and Naval Support Weapons Systems Support EEO Advisory Committees sponsored the event.