(Senate - February 15, 2018)

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[Pages S1169-S1170]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. BOOKER (for himself, Mr. Cochran, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Scott, Ms. 
Harris, Mr. Jones, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Whitehouse, Ms. Cortez Masto, Mr. 
Murphy, Mrs. Feinstein, Ms. Smith, Mr. Kaine, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Durbin, 
Mr. Udall, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Paul, and Mr. 
Alexander) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and 
agreed to:

                              S. Res. 413

       Whereas, in 1776, people envisioned the United States as a 
     new nation dedicated to the proposition stated in the 
     Declaration of Independence that ``all men 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 Africans were first brought involuntarily to the 
     shores of the United States as early as the 17th century;
       Whereas African Americans suffered enslavement and 
     subsequently faced the injustices of lynch mobs, segregation, 
     and denial of the basic and fundamental rights of 
       Whereas, in 2018, the vestiges of those injustices and 
     inequalities remain evident in the society of the United 
       Whereas, in the face of injustices, people of good will and 
     of all races in the United States have distinguished 
     themselves with a commitment to the noble ideals on which the 
     United States was founded and have fought courageously for 
     the rights and freedom of African Americans and others;
       Whereas African Americans, such as Lieutenant Colonel Allen 
     Allensworth, Maya Angelou, Arthur Ashe, Jr., James Baldwin, 
     James Beckwourth, Clara Brown, Blanche Bruce, Ralph Bunche, 
     Shirley Chisholm, Holt Collier, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. 
     Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Medgar Evers, Alex Haley, Dorothy 
     Height, Jon Hendricks, Lena Horne, Charles Hamilton Houston, 
     Mahalia Jackson, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, B.B. King, Martin 
     Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Thurgood Marshall, 
     Constance Baker Motley, Rosa Parks, Walter Payton, Bill 
     Pickett, Homer Plessy, Bass Reeves, Hiram Revels, Amelia 
     Platts Boynton Robinson, Jackie Robinson, Aaron Shirley, 
     Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, the 
     Greensboro Four, the Tuskegee Airmen, Prince Rogers Nelson, 
     Recy Taylor, Fred Shuttlesworth, Duke Ellington, Langston 
     Hughs, Muhammad Ali, Ella Fitzgerald, Mamie Till, and Edith 
     Savage-Jennings, along with many others, worked against 
     racism to achieve success and to make significant 
     contributions to the economic, educational, political, 
     artistic, athletic, literary, scientific, and technological 
     advancement of the United States;
       Whereas the contributions of African Americans from all 
     walks of life throughout the history of the United States 
     reflect the greatness of the United States;
       Whereas many African Americans lived, toiled, and died in 
     obscurity, never achieving the recognition those individuals 
     deserved, and yet paved the way for future generations to 

[[Page S1170]]

       Whereas African Americans continue to serve the United 
     States at the highest levels of business, government, and the 
       Whereas the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick 
     Douglass inspired the creation of Negro History Week, the 
     precursor to Black History Month;
       Whereas Negro History Week represented the culmination of 
     the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the ``Father of Black 
     History'', to enhance knowledge of Black history through The 
     Journal of Negro History, published by the Association for 
     the Study of African American Life and History, which was 
     founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland;
       Whereas Black History Month, celebrated during the month of 
     February, originated in 1926 when Dr. Carter G. Woodson set 
     aside a special period in February to recognize the heritage 
     and achievements of Black people in the United States;
       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.' '';
       Whereas since its founding, the United States has 
     imperfectly progressed toward noble goals;
       Whereas the history of the United States is the story of 
     people regularly affirming high ideals, striving to reach 
     those ideals but often failing, and then struggling to come 
     to terms with the disappointment of that failure, before 
     committing to try again;
       Whereas, on November 4, 2008, the people of the United 
     States elected Barack Obama, an African-American man, as 
     President of the United States; and
       Whereas, on February 22, 2012, people across the United 
     States celebrated the groundbreaking of the National Museum 
     of African American History and Culture, which opened to the 
     public on September 24, 2016, on the National Mall in 
     Washington, District of Columbia: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) acknowledges that all people of the United States are 
     the recipients of the wealth of history provided by Black 
       (2) recognizes the importance of Black History Month as an 
     opportunity to reflect on the complex history of the United 
     States, while remaining hopeful and confident about the path 
       (3) acknowledges the significance of Black History Month as 
     an important opportunity to commemorate the tremendous 
     contributions of African Americans to the history of the 
     United States;
       (4) encourages the celebration of Black History Month to 
     provide a continuing opportunity for all people in the United 
     States to learn from the past and understand the experiences 
     that have shaped the United States; and
       (5) agrees that, while the United States began as a divided 
     country, the United States must--
       (A) honor the contribution of all pioneers in the United 
     States who have helped to ensure the legacy of the great 
     United States; and
       (B) move forward with purpose, united tirelessly as a 
     nation ``indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.''.