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McCollum Statement on 2017 Black History Month

February 27, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement in commemoration of Black History Month:

"Each February, we celebrate Black History Month. We recognize African Americans’ struggle for freedom and justice in our country and we honor the many contributions that African Americans have made to our culture. The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened last fall, offers a long overdue recognition of the history and contributions of African Americans.

“At the same time, the harsh legacy of injustice, the struggle for equality, and the unique culture that African Americans have forged is also visible in our own community. The historic Rondo neighborhood, a thriving African American community destroyed for highway construction with no regard for the people who lived there, leaves a painful scar that is only now being healed. The legacy of Roy Wilkins, a son of St. Paul and one of the foremost leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, reminds us that African American activism and advocacy has bent the arc of our moral universe towards justice. Our renowned Penumbra Theater has created a space for many talented African American artists to hone their skills and develop their own rich forms of creative expression.

"Considerable progress has been made in creating equal opportunities for African Americans, but we have much more work to do. More than ever, we must defend civil rights – and especially voting rights – from both obvious attacks and subtle backsliding. We must work together to construct a more inclusive economy, expand educational opportunities, and build bridges between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The challenges are great, but nothing compared to the challenges that have already been overcome by African Americans time and again throughout our nation’s history."