U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today announced the Senate unanimously passed a resolution commemorating Black History Month, which she co-sponsored. The resolution honors the contributions and achievements of African American pioneers and modern day leaders who have overcome injustices and forged the fight for freedom, equality and opportunity for all Americans.
"Throughout the month of February, we remember and honor the invaluable contributions of the African American community and their unique place in our nation's rich history and culture," Sen. Landrieu said. "I hope all Americans will pause this month to learn about the great leaders, trailblazers and innovators who fought for equality and molded our collective futures. Black History Month grants us the opportunity to reflect, but I hope that we may recognize our community leaders who are continuing that great legacy today. Let us also remember that Black History is American History, a history worth celebrating today and every day."
Sen. Landrieu is a longtime advocate of legislation and other measures on behalf of the African American community. In January, she joined her colleagues to introduce a resolution congratulating the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., for 100 years of service to communities throughout the United States and world, and honoring the achievements and contributions of the African American women who make up the organization's membership.
In 2012, she co-sponsored a resolution commemorating Juneteenth Independence Day, which is celebrated on June 19 each year to recognize the day in 1865 when the enforcement of the abolition of slavery reached Texas, signifying that slavery had ended across the entire country. Also known as "Freedom Day" or "Emancipation Day," this day is celebrated as the anniversary of African-American freedom.
In 2009, in honor of Juneteenth or Freedom Day, Senator Landrieu co-sponsored a Senate resolution that apologized for the enslavement and racial segregation of African Americans. The resolution acknowledged the fundamental injustice and cruelty of slavery and Jim Crow laws; apologized to African Americans for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors; and called on all Americans to work toward eliminating racial prejudices, injustices and discrimination from our society.
In 2007, Sen. Landrieu introduced a bill to change the name of the main hall in the Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) from the "Great Hall," a name shared by the main hall of the Library of Congress, to "Emancipation Hall." The bill was subsequently signed into law.
This month also marks the eighth anniversary of a Landrieu-led resolution in which the Senate apologized to lynching victims and their families for the Senate's failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation during the first part of the 20th century. Because of the Senate's inability to pass anti-lynching laws, the federal government was left powerless to intervene and protect Americans from mob violence. The Senate apology passed on June 13, 2005.