CONGRESSWOMAN JACKSON LEE CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Feb 1, 2012 -
Today, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joined millions of Americans in marking the annual celebration of February as Black History Month – a celebration that has been occurring since 1976.
“During Black History Month, we celebrate the vast contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history and identity,” commented Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “Throughout America’s history, African American men and women have persevered through much hardship and prejudice to enrich our national life in innumerable ways.”
There are new landmarks to celebrate as time marches forward. In November 2008, Americans elected the first African American to be President. In October 2011, the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall was dedicated. On February 22, there will be groundbreaking ceremony, on the National Mall near the Washington Monument, for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which Congress authorized in December 2003. It is expected to open in 2015.
The theme of Black History Month this year is “Black Women in American Culture and History.” This gives all Americans the opportunity to pay tribute to the role African American women have played in shaping our nation – with African American women often serving as champions of social and political reforms.
Many African American families are still bearing the brunt of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In September, President Obama sent to Congress the American Jobs Act, which would strengthen the economy and is estimated to create 1.9 million jobs. Over the last several months, Republican obstruction has been blocking this bill from moving forward.
“Jobs and the economy are the number-one issue for African American families, just as they are for all American families,” commented Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “That is why my immediate focus is on fighting for a payroll tax cut for 20 million African American workers and to extend the lifeline of unemployment insurance for those who have lost a job through no fault of their own. I will also continue to work for the enactment of other provisions of the President’s American Jobs Act, that create jobs by helping small businesses hire and grow, putting construction workers back on the job rebuilding America, and preventing the layoff of teachers, firefighters and police officers. These steps are critical to helping improve the lives of African American families all across the country.”
“As we celebrate Black History Month,” commented Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, “let us pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions of past generations of African Americans and work to reignite the American Dream today and for the next generation. We must continue to work for an America that fully lives up to its ideals and allows all Americans to reach their full potential.”