FORT LAUDERDLAE, FL – Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement in recognition of African American History Month:
“On February 1, 2015, our nation will again observe African American History Month. Since 1976, February has been designated as the month to celebrate the achievements and contributions that have been made by African Americans to our nation and the world. The rich history of the African American Diaspora and undeniable involvement of the Black American in all facets of our nation’s growth are uniquely integral when determining the cultural and infrastructural value that has been laid as a foundation by the generations that predate us. February is the month that has been set aside to recognize the central role African Americans hold in the rich tapestry of U.S. history.
“This year’s theme for Black History Month is “A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture.” Across our district and the nation, we will be recognizing 100 years of contributions African Americans have made to making the United States what it is today. We will be celebrating civil rights leaders, inventors, public servants, athletes, actors, diplomats, artists, writers, and musicians. To that effect, this February, I will reintroduce legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to one such trailblazer and image of excellence, Lena Horne, for her contributions to music, film, and the Civil Rights Movement.
“We must continue to reflect on the work that has been done, noting how much there is still left to do. In our quest for a more equitable nation, we must acknowledge the gaps that still exist, and be mindful of the potential that all of our children have in making their dreams realized—for in this fruition lies the best to come.
“African American museums have been erected across the country due to the efforts of individuals like Margaret Boroughs, giving visitors the opportunity to celebrate African American culture year round. Additionally, I am proud to say that the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is scheduled to be opened to the public later this year. It will occupy the last available space on the National Mall to pay homage to many of the individuals who have paved the way for us to traverse into the next century.
“As we approach February 1st, I urge you to take a moment and participate in one of the many activities that will take place in your local community. African American history is America’s history.”
Congressman Alcee L. Has-tings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.