Black History Month: A Refelection
By Senator Aaron D. Ford
February 11, 2015
Fifty years after the passage of a Voting Rights Act that guaranteed African-Americans’ right to vote, forty-eight years after the first African-American was appointed to the US Supreme Court, and six years after the first African-American was elected President of the United States, it seems unusual to some to have February designated as “Black History Month.”
After all, for many younger people in our country Black History is known simply as “history.” To many, the importance of race or ethnicity as an overt force in society has begun to fade.
Despite our national progress, we must remember that America’s spirit is defined by the diverse groups of people coming together to form our collective history. As we study that history, it’s important that we continue to recognize and celebrate the contributions of all Americans, including African-Americans, to our nation’s success.
Understanding the historical experience of African-Americans, like so many other groups, helps us become a more compassionate, inclusive, and empathetic society. The more we learn about those who may not look just like us, the easier it is to bridge divides and build understanding between us. The more we know about where each other has been, the easier it will be to see where, together, we’re headed.
So this month, I urge Nevadans of all backgrounds to take the time to learn a little more about African-American history. Whether you learn about an individual, a group, an era, or a movement, I think you’ll find yourself enriched and even more appreciative of our American history than you were before.