San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today in recognition of Black History Month:
“Every year, our nation dedicates the month of February to honoring the contributions, achievements, and strength of the African-American community – and to recommitting ourselves to an end to prejudice and oppression, a new beginning of opportunity and progress, a vision of liberty and civil rights for all Americans.
“In that same spirit, during this Black History Month, we remember, in the words of this year’s theme, two ‘crossroads of freedom and equality.’ We commemorate the extraordinary moment 150 years ago when a President issued the Emancipation Proclamation and declared an enslaved people ‘then, thenceforward, and forever free.’ We recall the march 50 years ago when a preacher told a nation of his incredible dream and first implored us to embrace the ‘fierce urgency of now.’
“This year, as we celebrate the second inauguration of our first African-American President, Barack Obama, it is our duty and our obligation to follow in the giant footsteps of President Lincoln and Dr. King; of all who marched and fought, struggled and endured, sacrificed and strived to bend the arc of American history toward justice.
“It is our responsibility to continue the work of our predecessors and overcome the challenges of our day: to create jobs and alleviate poverty; to strengthen schools and ensure public safety; to protect the right to vote and reignite the American Dream. Together, let us take inspiration from the crossroads of our past and act to uphold the promise of equality and freedom in our time.”