This morning, U.S. Congressman Gary Peters released a web video to recognize today as the beginning of Black History Month.
Below is the text of Peters' remarks:
Hello, I'm Congressman Gary Peters.
This year, as we pause to reflect upon the countless contributions of African Americans throughout our nation's history, we also commemorate the anniversary of two landmark events that helped change the course of freedom and equality in this country.
150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
This proclamation ended over 200 years of slavery and granted freedom to slaves across our nation.
Over the next 100 years, our country wrestled with the issue of equality.
This struggle was a central theme of the 1963 march on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream of a nation where everyone, regardless of race, are judged on the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
There is no clearer example of the progress we've made than the election of our first African American President, Barack Obama.
As President Obama described during his inaugural speech in January, the struggle to achieve equality for every citizen continues today.
We, as Americans, should be proud of the progress we have made.
As we recognize these landmark achievements in our nation's history, let us also recommit ourselves to realizing the full meaning of our creed that all men, and women, are created equal.