Black History Month Moment: Presidential Proclamations


By Jueseppi B.

 

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Presidential Proclamations

 

January 31, 2013

Presidential Proclamation: National African American History Month, 2013

 

The White House

 

Office of the Press Secretary

 

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2013

Presidential Proclamation: National African American History Month, 2013

 

By The President of The United States of America

 

 

A Proclamation

In America, we share a dream that lies at the heart of our founding:  that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter how modest your beginnings or the circumstances of your birth, you can make it if you try.  Yet, for many and for much of our Nation’s history, that dream has gone unfulfilled. For African Americans, it was a dream denied until 150 years ago, when a great emancipator called for the end of slavery. It was a dream deferred less than 50 years ago, when a preacher spoke of justice and brotherhood from Lincoln’s memorial.  This dream of equality and fairness has never come easily — but it has always been sustained by the belief that in America, change is possible.

 

Today, because of that hope, coupled with the hard and painstaking labor of Americans sung and unsung, we live in a moment when the dream of equal opportunity is within reach for people of every color and creed.  National African American History Month is a time to tell those stories of freedom won and honor the individuals who wrote them.  We look back to the men and women who helped raise the pillars of democracy, even when the halls they built were not theirs to occupy.  We trace generations of African Americans, free and slave, who risked everything to realize their God-given rights.  We listen to the echoes of speeches and struggle that made our Nation stronger, and we hear again the thousands who sat in, stood up, and called out for equal treatment under the law.  And we see yesterday’s visionaries in tomorrow’s leaders, reminding us that while we have yet to reach the mountaintop, we cannot stop climbing.

 

Today, Dr. King, President Lincoln, and other shapers of our American story proudly watch over our National Mall.  But as we memorialize their extraordinary acts in statues and stone, let us not lose sight of the enduring truth that they were citizens first.  They spoke and marched and toiled and bled shoulder-to-shoulder with ordinary people who burned with the same hope for a brighter day.  That legacy is shared; that spirit is American.  And just as it guided us forward 150 years ago and 50 years ago, it guides us forward today.  So let us honor those who came before by striving toward their example, and let us follow in their footsteps toward the better future that is ours to claim.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2013 as National African American History Month.  I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

 

 

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February 01, 2013

Presidential Proclamation — 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Rosa Parks

 

 

The White House

 

 

Office of the Press Secretary

 

 

For Immediate Release
February 01, 2013

Presidential Proclamation — 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Rosa Parks

 

 

100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF ROSA PARKS

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

 

A PROCLAMATION

 

On December 1, 1955, our Nation was forever transformed when an African-American seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger. Just wanting to get home after a long day at work, Rosa Parks may not have been planning to make history, but her defiance spurred a movement that advanced our journey toward justice and equality for all.

 

Though Rosa Parks was not the first to confront the injustice of segregation laws, her courageous act of civil disobedience sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott — 381 days of peaceful protest when ordinary men, women, and children sent the extraordinary message that second-class citizenship was unacceptable. Rather than ride in the back of buses, families and friends walked. Neighborhoods and churches formed carpools. Their actions stirred the conscience of Americans of every background, and their resilience in the face of fierce violence and intimidation ultimately led to the desegregation of public transportation systems across our country.

 

Rosa Parks’s story did not end with the boycott she inspired. A lifelong champion of civil rights, she continued to give voice to the poor and the marginalized among us until her passing on October 24, 2005.

 

As we mark the 100th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s birth, we celebrate the life of a genuine American hero and remind ourselves that although the principle of equality has always been self-evident, it has never been self-executing. It has taken acts of courage from generations of fearless and hopeful Americans to make our country more just. As heirs to the progress won by those who came before us, let us pledge not only to honor their legacy, but also to take up their cause of perfecting our Union.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 4, 2013, as the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Rosa Parks. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs to honor Rosa Parks’s enduring legacy.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

 

Rosa Parks on Bus

 

 

 

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