Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement marking the beginning of Black History Month:
“Black History Month is a time to celebrate the past, present, and future of black culture in America. During this month-long celebration, we recognize the innumerable contributions to our country made by African Americans and reflect on what we must do to ensure that our communities are given equal opportunities to succeed.
“African American culture has been inextricably linked to American history since the earliest days in our nation’s history. Through long periods of injustice, oppression, and persecution, black culture thrived and our people remained resilient. In overcoming persistent forces of discrimination and prejudice, African Americans helped shape our country’s culture, history, and society. This month, we celebrate their achievements and look towards the future.
“As we pay tribute to African American leaders throughout the generations, let us work together to address enduring challenges facing our communities. Disparities in education, employment, and justice are still prevalent, and our hard-won achievements are at risk. These issues effect all Americans, and we must work together to address them.
“This month, let us each celebrate Black History Month by rededicating ourselves to the fight for equality for all Americans.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.