Congressman García’s Statement on Black History Month
Chicago, IL — Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García issued the following statement marking the beginning of Black History Month:
“During Black History Month we recognize the contributions of the Black community and honor Black leaders who risked their lives to advance fairness and equality, including our beloved Representatives John Lewis, Elijah Cummings, and Mayor Harold Washington.
“This past year, Black Americans were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and instances of police brutality were laid bare for all Americans to witness. In peaceful protests around the country, Black activists, organizers, and a rainbow coalition of allies, young and old, banded together to demand an end to systemic racism and chronic disinvestment in minority communities. By taking to the streets, Black Americans shed light on the vestiges of slavery and remnants of the Jim Crow era that plague our society, evidenced in the profound, persistent gaps in access to education, health care, and economic opportunity we still see.
“While we celebrate the arrival of Raphael Warnock as the first Black senator from Georgia and the historic inauguration of Kamala D. Harris as the first Black woman Vice President of the United States, the endeavor towards political representation to accurately reflect our communities continues. We must strengthen and protect voting rights to ensure the historic turnout of the 2020 election is repeated and that communities of color, young people, and working class communities continue to participate in the political process in record numbers.
“This year, Black History Month should be celebrated with actions like ensuring equity in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, additional economic relief for those most affected by the pandemic, and the recognition that Black Lives Matter.”