WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in recognition of Black History Month, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) issued the following statement:
“African Americans have been here since before there was a country. We arrived on these shores in 1619 in shackles and as a result of our blood, our sweat, our tears, our intellect, our ingenuity, our hard work, we helped to build this great country.
This month is a time to reflect on the countless achievements by our African American ancestors and acknowledge the price generations have paid to bring us to where we are today. We must use the momentum granted to us by generations of civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to rise up and mark another era of progress.
Despite more than 150 years since the abolishment of slavery, African Americans continue to fight for equal protection under the law. This once-in-a-century pandemic and economic crisis has opened up a lot of eyes as it relates to the need to deal with the systemic racism and inequality in America that have been in the soil of our nation since its birth.
It’s clear that while we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go. As we continue our long, necessary and majestic march towards a more perfect union, we must never forget how we arrived here. In the words of the late, great Representative John Lewis, we must never give up, never give in and never give out because together, we can redeem the soul of America.”