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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton to Speak at World War I Centennial Commission Event Honoring Legacy of African Americans and Latinos, Today

Nov 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will speak at a special event, entitled “The Heroic Legacy: African Americans and Latinos of WWI,” hosted by the World War I Centennial Commission today, Thursday, November 8, 2018, at 4:00 p.m., at Pershing Park (1455 Pennsylvania Ave. NW).  The program will feature a special performance by the 369th Experience Band, comprised of 40 African American and Puerto Rican men representing 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.  The band recreates the 369th Regimental Band, which consisted of 65 African American and Puerto Rican men, who played across Europe during World War I and were part of the 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the “Harlem Hellfighters.”

“I thank the World War I Commission for hosting this special program to honor the heroic sacrifices and unique contributions of African Americans and Latinos, who fought and died for their country abroad despite facing bigotry and prejudice at home,” Norton said.  “I particularly welcome the talented members of the 369th Experience Band to the nation’s capital as they play the same songs played by the original 369th Band, which brought Black culture and jazz to Europe and broke down racial divisions.”