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Public Statements

Recognizing the Significance of Black History Month

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

RECOGNIZING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH -- (House of Representatives - February 06, 2008)


Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of this most important month of February, deemed as Black History Month. Let us join with the rest of the Nation in highlighting the significant contributions that African Americans have made to our great Nation, while celebrating this year's theme of ``Carter G. Woodson and the Origin of Multiculturalism.''

Throughout this noteworthy month, we all should take a moment to reflect on the fact that February was designated to make a national appeal to Americans to make note of the tremendous role that African Americans have played in the development and advancement of our country's rich history. February embraces the birthdays of two distinguished Americans--Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln--whose contributions to our society are immeasurable. Let us remember that not only are we honoring Black history; we are celebrating all of our history, American history.

This month we should remember the legacy of the illustrious Harlem Renaissance and the contributions this period had in shaping America's cultural heritage. African American writers Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison have now become major voices in American Literature. Military achievements, not only by the Tuskegee Airmen, the 54th Regiment from Massachusetts, and the 29th Regiment from Connecticut, but by other courageous Black soldiers, have helped to create the gallant Armed Forces of this country. In this month, let us all work together to ensure a positive future for the 40.2 million African Americans who contribute to this Nation on a daily basis.

In my home State of Connecticut, we make note of Hartford's Black governors who oversaw the region from 1755 to 1800; fearless Connecticut abolitionists James Mars and J.W.C. Pennington who petitioned Connecticut's legislature regarding voting and social rights for blacks in the 1840s and 50s; and of course the survivors of the Amistad slave ship, who spent days seated in a Hartford courtroom awaiting their fate by a U.S. circuit court judge. Through relics such as the Old State House, Mark Twain House, Harriet Beecher Stowe House, the Connecticut freedom trails, and the Amistad Center for Arts and Culture, we are paying homage to the extraordinary African Americans who have resided in our State.

Mr. Speaker, this year during Black History Month, I urge my colleagues and this Nation to remember all of the African Americans who have helped to weave the historical tapestry of America. I urge us all to realize the service, dedication and courage that have emerged throughout the decades. This year, let us truly celebrate Black History as a part of us all. Like our motto says, E Pluribus Unum, Out of many we are one. We are a great Nation formed by the contribution of many, and this month we celebrate one of those outstanding groups.

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