At today’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried introduced a resolution recognizing February as Black History Month. This is the first time in 12 years that the Cabinet has issued a formal resolution recognizing the month. The resolution was unanimously agreed to by the Cabinet and signed by the Governor, Commissioner Fried, the Attorney General, and the Chief Financial Officer.
“February is a special month in Florida and America. It’s a month in which we celebrate the extraordinary achievements of African-Americans in our state and nation,” said Commissioner Fried. “It’s a month that reminds us to every day recognize the ways in which Black women and men have not only contributed to, but strengthened, the fabric of our society. It’s a month in which we acknowledge the difficult and tarnished legacy of our forefathers on race, a legacy that even today continues to sow seeds of division, which we all aspire to overcome. It’s a month to say thank you, from a grateful state and nation, to people of color – leaders and poets, scientists and teachers, soldiers and artists, and everyday people – for a debt we can never repay.”
See below for the full text of the resolution, and see here for a tweet from Commissioner Fried.
Whereas, in 1776, the people envisioned the United States as a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all persons are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness . . .;
Whereas, African Americans suffered enslavement and subsequently faced the injustices of segregation, and denial of the basic and fundamental rights of citizenship;
Whereas, in the face of injustices, people of good will and of all races have distinguished themselves with a commitment to the noble ideals on which our nation was founded, and fought courageously for the rights and freedom of African Americans;
Whereas, the contributions of African Americans from all walks of life throughout the history of the United States and State of Florida have enriched the greatness of our State;
Whereas, many African Americans lived, toiled, and died in obscurity, never receiving the recognition they deserved, and yet paved the way for future generations to succeed;
Whereas, African Americans continue to lead the State of Florida at the highest levels of business, government, and the military;
Whereas, the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass inspired the creation of Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month, by Dr. Carter G. Woodson;
Whereas, Dr. Carter G. Woodson stated, “We have a wonderful history behind us. . . . If you are unable to demonstrate to the world that you have this record, the world will say to you, you are not worthy to enjoy the blessings of democracy or anything else.”;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida recognize the importance of
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
as an opportunity to reflect on the complex history of the State of Florida, and acknowledge the tremendous contributions of African Americans to our great State and nation, both past and present.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Governor and the Cabinet of the State of Florida have hereunto subscribed their names and have caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee on this 26 day of February, 2019.