President Obama speaks about his Promise Zones Initiative, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. AP PHOTO/CAROLYN KASTER
(USA TODAY) -- President Obama has issued the annual proclamation declaring February to be National African-American History Month.
remember the courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register
their neighbors to vote," wrote the nation's first African-American
president. "And we carry forward the unyielding hope that guided a
movement as it bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice."
From the proclamation:
have long celebrated our Nation as a beacon of liberty and opportunity
-- home to patriots who threw off an empire, refuge to multitudes who
fled oppression and despair. Yet we must also remember that while many
came to our shores to pursue their own measure of freedom, hundreds of
thousands arrived in chains.
"Through centuries of struggle, and
through the toil of generations, African Americans have claimed rights
long denied. During National African American History Month, we honor
the men and women at the heart of this journey -- from engineers of the
Underground Railroad to educators who answered a free people's call for a
free mind, from patriots who proved that valor knows no color to
demonstrators who gathered on the battlefields of justice and marched
our Nation toward a brighter day.
"As we pay tribute to the
heroes, sung and unsung, of African-American history, we recall the
inner strength that sustained millions in bondage. We remember the
courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register their
neighbors to vote. And we carry forward the unyielding hope that guided a
movement as it bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. Even
while we seek to dull the scars of slavery and legalized discrimination,
we hold fast to the values gained through centuries of trial and
"Every American can draw strength from the story of
hard-won progress, which not only defines the African-American
experience, but also lies at the heart of our Nation as a whole. This
story affirms that freedom is a gift from God, but it must be secured by
His people here on earth. It inspires a new generation of leaders, and
it teaches us all that when we come together in common purpose, we can
right the wrongs of history and make our world anew."
You may also like...
Arrrrrr! Pirates invade Tampa for Gasparilla
Treason? Secret Service visits candidate who says Obama should hang
Mystery House: Unsuspecting house holds a hidden secret
Abuse Arrest: Hog-hunting mom leaves kids in freezing car
Seeking Sasquatch: Bigfoot sightings abound in Colorado
Cyclist stuck in windshield: "Hi, I'm the guy you hit"
Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant
Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary
#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here