This weekend, I attended the 32nd Annual Black History Month Breakfast in Waldorf, MD – an event I helped launch when I became a Member of Congress in 1981. Thanks to the hard work of the Black History Month Planning Committee, volunteers, speakers, musicians and sponsors, we shared a wonderful morning together celebrating another Black History Month in the Fifth District.
At the invitation of the Planning Committee, I attended and served as the Master of Ceremony at the event. I had the honor of introducing our keynote speaker, Ben Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, along with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, the Gwynn Park High School Junior R.O.T.C, the Duval High School Gospel Choir, Rev. Jamila Woods-Jones, Rev. George E. Hackey, Jr., Rev. James Spence, Jr., and the performers “Refreshed Band.”
The theme of this year’s breakfast was “Continuing the March Forward for Jobs, Education, and Justice.” In my opening remarks, I paid tribute to the many African-Americans who have helped advance those causes here in Maryland:
“Black History Month is an opportunity for us to reflect on the many important contributions African-Americans have made to our history and national life. We must remember that black history is American history. Maryland has a particularly long list of notable African-American sons and daughters who have helped build our communities and advance the causes of justice, opportunity, and the arts. Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin Banneker, Billy Holiday, Eubie Blake, Matthew Henson – these are names we are all proud to associate with Maryland. In my years in public office – both in Annapolis and in Washington – I have been privileged to serve with many outstanding African-American leaders working to continue making Maryland a great place for all to live and pursue the American dream.”
Click here to read my full remarks, and here to view photos of this year’s event.
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