American History Month:
Proclamation on National African American History Month
Bush honors achievements, rich heritage of African Americans
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 29, 2008
NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, 2008
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
During National African American History Month, we honor the
achievements and celebrate the rich heritage of African Americans.
Throughout our Nation's history, African Americans from all walks of
life have offered their talents to the betterment of American
society. Scholars such as Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois were
early leaders who placed great importance on educating all people
about the need for justice and racial equality. Athletes such as
Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson persevered while breaking the
color barrier and competing at the highest levels of sports.
Musicians like Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday lifted the American
spirit with their creativity and musical gifts. Through their
extraordinary accomplishments, these leaders helped bring our Nation
closer to fulfilling its founding ideals.
This year's theme, "Carter G. Woodson and the Origins of
Multiculturalism," honors an educator who taught his fellow citizens
about the traditions and contributions of African Americans. His
dedication to educating Americans about cultural diversity initiated
this celebration of African-American history. Our Nation is now
stronger and more hopeful because generations of leaders like him
have worked to help America live up to its promise of equality and
the great truth that all of God's children are created equal.
Throughout African American History Month, we celebrate the many
contributions African Americans have made to our Nation, and we are
reminded of their courage in their struggle to change the hearts and
minds of our citizens. While much progress has been made, we must
continue to work together to achieve the promise and vision of our
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2008 as
National African American History Month. I call upon public
officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to
observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth
day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of
the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and
GEORGE W. BUSH
President George Bush, 2007:
"I am pleased to join you to celebrate African-American History
Month. During this special month, we honor the many contributions
that African-Americans have made to our country, to our culture, to
our national character.
Throughout our history, leaders like Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks,
and Martin Luther King Jr. have called our Nation to live up to the
words of the Declaration of Independence. Each of them invoked the
self-evident truth that all men are created equal and their courage
roused the conscience of a complacent nation. With eloquence and
determination, these men and women forced Americans to examine our
hearts, revise our laws, and make America the land of justice it was
always supposed to be.
few months ago, we broke ground for the construction of the Martin
Luther King Memorial on the National Mall. This memorial will lie
between the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials. It will reflect the arc
of Dr. King's life, his search for justice, and the enduring beauty
of his words. By its presence, the King Memorial will remind all
Americans who visit our capital that a life of conscience can lift
up millions of lives.
In December, I was proud to award the Medal of Freedom to three
great Americans. Buck O'Neil was a star first baseman at a time when
the color barrier kept African Americans out of the big leagues. But
he stayed with the game he loved and helped both baseball and our
nation change for the better. B.B. King was born the son of poor
share croppers. He used his guitar to create a new American art form
and is now known to the world as the King of Blues. Dr. Norman
Francis is a college president whose finest hour came amid his
beloved city's worst trial. His leadership after hurricane Katrina
has helped give the people of New Orleans new hope.
This month we also honor the thousands of African-American men and
women who wear the uniform of the United States. They follow in a
long and proud tradition. They have helped bring the promise of
freedom to millions across the world - and their achievements will
be celebrated by generations to come.
African-American History Month reminds us of the great progress our
nation has made toward racial equality. One of these hard-won gains
was the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which for the first time in our
history guaranteed African Americans their most fundamental right as
citizens. The Voting Rights Act was a great achievement of the Civil
Rights Movement. Last year I was proud to sign legislation
reauthorizing this good law. And as we go forward, we must continue
to work for an America where the dignity of every person is
respected, where hope and opportunity reach into every neighborhood,
and where every citizen has the chance to live the American dream.
May God bless you, and may God bless America."
February 7, 2007
White House Website
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