Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement to commemorate the observance of Black History Month:
"Throughout the month of February, our nation will pause to celebrate the many contributions and achievements of the African-American community. We must recognize those who have made great strides in this nation, paving the way for future generations to have the opportunity to receive an education, exercise their right to vote, and lead successful professions.
"We honor and appreciate great pioneers like the Honorable Shirley Chisholm, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lena Horne, Benjamin Banneker, and Sojourner Truth. Through their countless sacrifices, I can now stand on the legacy that they have left to represent the people of the 11th Congressional District of New York. We also witness history in the making as we salute modern day marvels like the first black mayor of New York City-David Dinkins, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, and our very own President Barack Obama.
"We have heard and read stories that recount the experiences of this community and their efforts to seek equality and fair treatment in an unjust society. Though we have come a long way to fulfill the dream of Dr. King, the journey is not yet over. Let us never forget that Black history continues to define American history."