February 4, 2009

Black History Month

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

When Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 with 2,000 armed federal troops to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, his words were the cause of great jubilation.

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

We now celebrate Juneteenth to commemorate that fateful day.

Few of those newly freed slaves could have imagined that strides that would be made by African Americans in the next 144 years. Our advancements in science, technology, and American politics were only the source of dreams.

Black History Month 2009 brings an even greater sense of pride. On February 2, 2009 the US Senate confirmed America’s first African American Attorney General, Eric Holder who was originally nominated by our first African American president, Barack Obama.

Ironically, Black History Month is the shortest month of the year. A month in which we recognizes President’s Day and Valentine’s Day, it is still a time for great reflection. Black history cannot be contained in any one month. The most important aspect of black history is the realization American history and should be celebrated every single day of the calendar year.