Langevin Tribute to Black History Month

Feb 27, 2002
(Washington, D.C.)–Congressman Jim Langevin today announced that he will submit the following statement in recognition of Black History Month into the Congressional Record tomorrow.

“Mr. Speaker, today marks the end of Black History Month, a time when we are reminded of the great contributions of African-Americans to our nation.  Rhode Island has a proud history of African-American accomplishments ranging from the heroic deeds of the Black Regiment, which fought under General Nathaniel Greene during the American Revolution, to Ruth Simmons who, as president of Brown University, is the first African-American to head an Ivy League institution.

Last month, I met with civil rights leaders from Rhode Island to discuss the work of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and how we are still working to keep alive his vision for America.  While we have made great strides since Dr. King’s death, we have much more to accomplish.  Throughout my service as a public official, I have met far too often with people with no access to affordable health care, housing, or even quality education for their children, and who fear for the safety of their loved ones because of gun violence.  Congress must have the courage to address these problems immediately and promote efforts to improve the lives of all Americans.
We cannot tolerate violence and crimes that target a victim’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.  We must demand affordable health care and housing.  We must support equal pay for equal work.  And we must defend affirmative action in order to provide greater opportunities to minority students, workers, and business owners.  

When accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, Reverend King said, “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”  I challenge all of us to share Dr. King’s audacity and to continue fighting for an America that offers equality for all.”