Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement acknowledging the beginning of Black History Month 2013:
"I am excited to welcome Black History Month this year. On the heels of President Obama's historic inauguration, Black History Month presents a great opportunity to reflect on the many great African Americans, past and present, who have made tremendous contributions to our way of life and are now an indelible part of this nation's fabric.
"I would encourage each of us to not only remember the accomplishments of Dr. King , Malcolm X , and other great leaders of past generations, but to also identify those in our own neighborhoods and networks, who make great sacrifices to enrich the lives of those around them.
"I cannot help but think of the Rev. Vernon Dobson, Clarence M. Mitchell, III, and Delegate Hattie Harrison; three of the many great Black visionaries and change agents in Maryland who we recently lost. Indeed, the aspirations of those who came before us continue to inspire greatness among us.
"My prayer is that as we celebrate Black History Month this year we will remember those who blazed a trail before us, acknowledge those who lead us now, and embrace the potential for greatness in each of us."