Florida Senate - 2024                            (NP)    SR 1822
       By Senator Rouson
       16-02885B-24                                          20241822__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing February 2024 as “Black
    3         History Month” in Florida.
    5         WHEREAS, every year, Floridians join with all Americans in
    6  recognizing February as the month to commemorate the
    7  contributions of African Americans to our society and to
    8  celebrate the birth month of two great Americans, Abraham
    9  Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both of whom were leaders in the
   10  movement to abolish slavery, and
   11         WHEREAS, long ago, an estimated 12 million African men,
   12  women, and children were forcibly removed from their homelands,
   13  enslaved, and placed on ships that sailed to the Western
   14  Hemisphere, and
   15         WHEREAS, approximately 2 million of those African men,
   16  women, and children died on the Middle Passage, but 10 million
   17  survived and arrived in the Americas, where they and their
   18  children lived in slavery, and
   19         WHEREAS, because slavery and the ideals upon which this
   20  country was founded were in direct conflict, the Civil War
   21  erupted and lasted 4 years, ultimately leading to hard-won
   22  change and the abolishment of slavery in the United States of
   23  America, which was recognized through the ratification of the
   24  13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and
   25         WHEREAS, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by
   26  President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, and, in 2024,
   27  Floridians celebrated the 161st anniversary of that declaration,
   28  which made enslaved people in all confederate states “free
   29  forever,” and
   30         WHEREAS, our nation has celebrated black history during the
   31  month of February since 1926, when Carter G. Woodson established
   32  Negro History Week, and
   33         WHEREAS, the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century
   34  began in an effort to correct the failures of Reconstruction and
   35  erase the remnants of slavery still evident in Jim Crow laws, in
   36  continued segregation in nearly every aspect of daily life, and
   37  in the persistence of second-class citizenship for African
   38  Americans, and
   39         WHEREAS, nearly 61 years ago, in August 1963, the historic
   40  March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, led by the late
   41  Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who delivered his now
   42  famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln
   43  Memorial, was a catalyst for the passage of the Civil Rights Act
   44  of 1964, and
   45         WHEREAS, as a testament to the strength of all African
   46  Americans throughout these struggles, we note the contributions
   47  to the political and social growth of American society of
   48  Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Booker T.
   49  Washington, George Washington Carver, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B.
   50  DuBois, Malcolm X, Dr. King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Thurgood
   51  Marshall, Barbara Jordan, Shirley Chisholm, Dorothy Height, and
   52  President Barack Obama, and
   53         WHEREAS, we honor, particularly, the African Americans who
   54  are currently serving in this body and those who served before
   55  them: those who served from 1868-1887, during the Reconstruction
   56  era; and 95 years later, in 1982, when Senator Carrie P. Meek
   57  and Senator Arnett E. Girardeau became the first two post
   58  Reconstruction African Americans elected, serving with
   59  distinction for 10 years when, in 1992, James T. Hargrett, Jr.,
   60  Betty S. Holzendorf, Daryl L. Jones, Matthew Meadows, and
   61  William H. Turner were also elected, and
   62         WHEREAS, the culture of the United States of America has
   63  been vitally enriched through the contributions of African
   64  American musicians, artists, and writers, including Charlie
   65  Parker, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count
   66  Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Marian Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, James
   67  DePreist, Leontyne Price, Andre Watts, Phyllis Wheatley,
   68  Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Alex Haley,
   69  Gwendolyn Brooks, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker,
   70  Rita Dove, Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett,
   71  Hill Harper, Anika Noni Rose, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles,
   72  Colson Whitehead, Robin Coste Lewis, Amanda Gorman, and Viola
   73  Davis, and
   74         WHEREAS, African-American sports figures have demonstrated
   75  their ability to be role models on and off the field and in and
   76  out of the ring as they stood up for their rights and beliefs,
   77  and these legendary athletes include Jesse Owens, Arthur Ashe,
   78  Lee Roy Selmon, Freddie Solomon, Muhammad Ali, Venus and Serena
   79  Williams, Trayvon Bromell, Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin, and
   80  Florida native Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes, the first athlete to
   81  earn both an Olympic Gold Medal and an NFL Super Bowl Ring, and
   82         WHEREAS, the fields of medicine, science, and technology
   83  have all been advanced by the contributions of African-American
   84  men and women, including Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, George
   85  Washington Carver, Dr. Charles R. Drew, Garrett Morgan, and Dr.
   86  Mae C. Jemison, and
   87         WHEREAS, native Floridians, including Mary McLeod Bethune,
   88  Joseph E. Lee, James Weldon Johnson, Harry Tyson Moore,
   89  Harriette Vyda Simms Moore, Zora Neale Hurston, Asa Philip
   90  Randolph, Charles Kenzie Steele, Jesse K. McCrary, Jr., and
   91  Patricia Stephens Due have proudly represented our state as they
   92  contributed to the history and culture of the United States of
   93  America, and
   94         WHEREAS, each year, it is important to celebrate the many
   95  achievements of African Americans in an effort to offer each
   96  American a broader perspective of the history of this nation and
   97  an appreciation for the diversity that makes this great nation
   98  strong, NOW, THEREFORE,
  100  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
  102         That February 2024 is recognized as “Black History Month”
  103  in Florida.