Congressman Donald Payne, Jr.’s, Statement on the Celebration of Black History Month and the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Rosa Parks

Feb 4, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., (NJ-10) stated the following in celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Parks:

“This month we celebrate Black History Month, and today we mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of influential civil rights leader and activist, Rosa Parks. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks forever changed the social fabric of America when she refused to conform to societal norms and stayed seated at the front of a bus after a long day of work. It may have been unintentional, but her civil disobedience reignited a civil rights movement that would start with Montgomery Bus Boycotts, North Carolina sit-ins, and marches from Selma to Montgomery and would eventually lead to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the election and re-election of the first African-American president more than fifty years later.

“It is very fitting that the birth of Rosa Parks should fall during Black History Month, and today is a celebration of the significant strides our country has made in achieving equality and justice for all.  But although we have come so far, it is important to recognize that there is still much to be done to provide quality health care, affordable housing and education, and access to the ballot for all Americans.  I will continue to fight in Congress to ensure that important programs like Medicare and Social Security are preserved and strengthened for our seniors, that consumers have proper funding to provide stable housing for their families, and that our children receive a top-notch education to attain success in a competitive world.  As we celebrate Black History Month it is not only a time to rejoice in how far our nation has come, but it is also a time to keep striving toward a vision of full equality for generations to come.”

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