Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today in recognition of Black History Month:
“This Black History Month is especially significant as we recognize three historic events: the Inauguration of Barack Obama; the centennial celebration of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and, the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Each of these milestones illustrates the vibrancy of our nation, and our commitment to progress and equality for all.
“In his inspirational Inaugural Address, President Obama reminded us that while ‘we are in the midst of crisis,' we are united in the common purpose of achieving a greater measure of peace and prosperity for all of our people, and for all citizens of the world.
“As we celebrate the centennial of the NAACP, we pay tribute to the men and women who risked all to achieve equality and justice for all, and resolve to be equal to their example as we face the civil rights challenges of the next 100 years.
“In celebrating the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, we recall his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which launched a ‘new birth of freedom' and set America on a course to ending the legal and social practices of discrimination against African Americans.
“Ending discrimination is a top priority for the 111th Congress. One of the first bills passed by the House, and the first major legislation signed into law by President Obama last week, was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This bill, which ensures that men and women are paid fairly for the work they do, will have a direct impact on America's women, as well as every boy and girl growing up in our country.
“During this Black History Month, we recommit ourselves to the proposition that all are created equal, all deserve respect, and all have a fair chance to achieve their full measure of economic opportunity and prosperity.”