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2019 African American History Month - Joe Rodgers

February is African American History Month. It is a time to come together and to express our recognition and appreciation of the history, culture, heritage, and the numerous sacrifices of the black community.

When I think of "African American History Month" I reflect on the great contributions and strides that our fellow African-American countrymen have made toward making our nation a great nation. I think of heroes such as Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, John Lewis, Maxine Waters, Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama to name a few. These individuals were trail blazers and as such contributed in so many ways to effect change and to advance the consciousness of the citizenry of the United States. These men and women, and many others that come before them, are to be revered for their everlasting impact on shaping who we are as a country today.

Tuesday night, Stacy Abrahams delivered the Democrats' response to Donald Trump's State of the Union Address. Abrams, as you may recall, is the first Black women to run for Governor of Georgia. She will also be the first Black women to offer a major political party's rebuttal to the President's State of the Union Address. The 115th Congress sworn-in in January is the most racially diverse in our history. Record numbers of Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and women of color are currently serving in this legislative session and State-wide Senate houses. Tremendous strides have been made by minorities, though much more needs to be done to achieve equality for all. It is important for all of us to remember our history. Social Security did not end poverty and the Civil Rights movement did not end hatred and bigotry. They helped, but they were not a cure-all.

Black History Month is a call to all people to take a stand against racial discrimination and injustice. It is a call to stand up and speak out for human dignity and respect for our fellow citizens everywhere.

Joe Rodgers

President, Branch 157