Commemorating Black History Month

Simone Graham – Editor: This week U.S. Senator for California, Kamala Harris, is addressing Black History Month in a letter to constituents reminding us all that freedom is not free. The cost can be high, but the result is worth the price and must be guarded and earned with each generation. Whether fighting on foreign soil or in our own communities for freedom and equal rights, it is worth the fight and is the measure of who we are as a people.

In December of 2018, Senators Harris and Booker took to the Senate floor to ask for unanimous consent to pass the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018, historic legislation that would criminalize lynching, attempts to lynch, and conspiracy to lynch for the first time in American history. The motion passed, marking the first time in American history that federal anti-lynching legislation has been passed by the Senate.

“By passing this bill we have offered some long overdue justice and recognition to the victims of lynching crimes.” -Senator Kamala D. Harris.

The Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018 amends the United States Code to specify that lynching is a crime under existing federal civil rights statutes. The legislation was originally introduced in June 2018 by Senators Harris, Booker, and Scott, and unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in October 2018.

Friends,

This month is a time to come together and remember how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. Black History Month acknowledges and applauds the contributions and accomplishments across the African American community, and provides us the opportunity to celebrate black excellence in all its forms.

Its leaders like Dr. Carter G. Woodson who have also reminded us that Black History Month should be celebrated all year round.

Throughout the last two years, our community has stood up and fought hard against injustice and in support of a healthier community where all people can live and thrive safely and are provided the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Just last month, we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the words of Coretta Scott King could never be more true. She reminds us that, “struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.”

While we recognize Black History Month, let us remember that we must fight each and every day for the best of who we are as a country for dignity, equity, and justice. We must always remember that as Dr. King did, we are fighting for something and not against something. Because if it’s worth fighting for, it’s a fight worth having.

As Dr. King taught us, “let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Sincerely,
Kamala

Kamala D. Harris
United States Senator

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