Base Logo
Official U.S. Marine Corps Website
Crossroads of the Marine Corps


Black History Month celebrated at Prayer Breakfast

13 Feb 2015 | John Hollis Marine Corps Base Quantico

Bishop Lyle Dukes said from the outset that his intent was to speak less about black history than the lessons gleaned from it.

Speaking on Feb. 5 to more than 100 people at the 15th annual Marine Corps Base Quantico Black History Month Prayer Breakfast at The Clubs at Quantico, the senior pastor at Harvest Life Changes Church in Woodbridge, made it clear that the path to continued social progress lay in taking stock in the here and now and applying lessons already learned.

“It’s impossible to figure out where you’re going until you figure out where you are,” said Dukes as he began his theme of “Destined for Victory.”

Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Byrd Sr., base sergeant major, Marine Corps Base Quantico, echoed similar comments in his opening remarks, recalling a lesson he learned from his own mother in saying, “A lesson not learned the first time can soon be repeated.”

Those attending the prayer breakfast also included Eric Nelson, president of Quantico’s Montford Point Marine Association, Chapter 32, and various other representatives from all over the base.

Dukes, who was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1963, praised the nation for the significant progress already made in the many advances in social, financial and health avenues, as well as the election and re-election of the nation’s first black president in Barack Obama.

But he cautioned that there’s more to do still, citing the widespread unrest following last year’s racially charged incidents in both Ferguson, Missouri, and Brooklyn, New York, that led to hundreds of protests and charges of discrimination by police.

“It shows us that we have some work to do,” Dukes said.

Dukes, who was accompanied by his wife, Pastor Deborah Dukes, attributed lessons picked up previously in the struggle for equality such as the need to never be satisfied with the status quo, the need to always move forward and the need for a strong spiritual foundation as the keys for further social progress.

Dukes said there is room for improvement in race relations.

“We are destined for victory,” Dukes said, “but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

— Writer:

Marine Corps Base Quantico