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SR-70 (2017-2018)

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Enrolled  February 21, 2018
Passed  IN  Senate  February 20, 2018


Senate Resolution
No. 70

Introduced by Senator Bradford

January 03, 2018

Relative to Black History Month


SR 70, Bradford.

WHEREAS, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, the distinguished African American author, editor, publisher, and historian who is known as the “Father of Black History,” founded Negro History Week in 1926, which became Black History Month in 1976, intended to encourage further research and publishing regarding the untold stories of African American heritage; and
WHEREAS, The history of African Americans here in the United States, as well as throughout the ages, is indeed unique and vibrant, and it is appropriate to celebrate this history during the month of February 2018, which has been proclaimed as Black History Month; and
WHEREAS, The history of the United States is rich with inspirational stories of great men and noble women whose actions, words, and achievements have united Americans and contributed to the success and prosperity of the United States; and
WHEREAS, The first Africans were brought involuntarily to the shores of the Americas as early as the 17th century; and
WHEREAS, The slave trade was a tragic episode in African history and began before August 1619 when the first slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. During the course of the slave trade, an estimated 50 million African men, women, and children were lost to their native continent, though only about 15 million arrived safely to a new home. The others lost their lives on African soil or along the Guinea coast, or finally in holds of ships during the dreaded Middle Passage across the Atlantic Ocean; and
WHEREAS, The first American to shed blood in the revolution that freed America from British rule was Crispus Attucks (March 5, 1770, Boston Massacre), an African American seaman and slave. African Americans also fought in wars including the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, the Battle of Rhode Island on August 29, 1778, the battles of Ticonderoga, White Plains, Bennington, Brandywine, Saratoga, Savannah, Yorktown, Bunker Hill, and other revolutionary war battles; the War of 1812, including the Battle of New Orleans; the Civil War, the Spanish-American War; World Wars I and II, Korea, and the Vietnam War; and
WHEREAS, African Americans not only suffered enslavement, but also faced the injustices of lynch mobs, segregation, and the denial of basic, fundamental rights; and
WHEREAS, In spite of the African slave trade and systematic oppression, many Africans and African Americans continued to move forward in society; during the Reconstruction period, two African Americans served in the United States Senate and 14 sat in the House of Representatives; and
WHEREAS, From the earliest days of the United States, the course of its history has been greatly influenced by Black heroes and pioneers in many diverse areas, from science, medicine, business, and education to government, industry, and social leadership; and
WHEREAS, Africans and African Americans have also been great inventors, inventing and improving things such as the air-conditioning unit, almanac, automatic gearshift, blood plasma bag, clothes dryer, doorknob, doorstop, electric lamp bulb, elevator, fire escape ladder, fountain pen, gas mask, golf tee, horseshoe, lantern, lawnmower, lawn sprinkler, lock, lubricating cup, refrigerating apparatus, spark plug, stethoscope, telephone transmitter, thermostat control, traffic signal, and typewriter; and
WHEREAS, A number of these brave and accomplished individuals, such as former President Barack Obama, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Mary McLeod Bethune, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Matthew Henson, Daniel Hale Williams, Dr. Charles Drew, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, Curt Flood, Medgar Evers, and, of course, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are noted prominently in the history books of students nationwide, thus enabling students to learn about the important and lasting contributions of these individuals; and
WHEREAS, Among those Americans who have enriched our society are the members of the African American community—individuals who have been steadfast in their commitment to promoting brotherhood, equality, and justice for all; and
WHEREAS, In the face of injustices, United States citizens of goodwill and of all races distinguished themselves with their commitment to the noble ideas upon which the United States was founded and courageously fought for the rights and freedom of African Americans; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lived and died to make real these noble ideas; and
WHEREAS, A memorial commemorating the life and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was placed on the National Mall for all people to observe his leadership in the struggle for freedom and truth; and
WHEREAS, Barack Hussein Obama was elected and reelected as the 44th President of the United States, making him the first African American chief executive and overcoming one of the last great racial challenges in politics in this country; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That the Senate takes great pleasure in recognizing the month of February 2018 as Black History Month, urges all citizens to join in celebrating the accomplishments of African Americans during Black History Month, and encourages the people of California to recognize the many talents, achievements, and contributions that African Americans make to their communities; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.