Black History Month

Black History Month

By Congressman Randy Neugebauer

 

 

 

I am honored to contribute to this edition of the West Texas Tribune, a publication that exhibits journalistic integrity and gives voice to the black community in Abilene. The work done by this publication and organizations like the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce, Interested Citizens of Abilene North, and the local chapter of the NAACP, empowers African-Americans in the 19th District of Texas to succeed and flourish throughout different industries.Since the founding of our nation, African Americans are making monumental strides. I am honored to be a member of the House of Representatives, where the number of black congressional members has risen steadily in the past half century. Until 1969, the number of black Members of Congress stayed below 10. Today, there are 44 African-American members, all of whom serve in the House of Representatives.{{more}}On January 20, 2009, I witnessed a significant step toward the fulfillment of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dreams. As I watched President Barack Obama’s inauguration, I reflected on the man who stood at the opposite end of the National Mall 46 years earlier and declared his dream “that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” What a powerful moment.Two years later, on October 16, 2011, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC. With the opening of this site, Dr. King became the first African American honored with a memorial on or near the National Mall. This magnificent statue pays tribute to a brave and inspiring man who fought social, civil and political forces to make our country a better place for every American.As the number of black politicians rises, there remains tremendous room for growth in conservative black America. My friend and colleague, Rep. Allen West of Florida said, “The conservative voice in the black community remains mostly unacknowledged by politicians and the public alike. While the conservative black voice has always existed, it is more important than ever that it be recognized and encouraged.”During Black History Month, we celebrate the countless ways in which African Americans have enriched and bettered our nation. The great promise of our country is that every American has the opportunity to seek prosperity and fulfill their dreams, regardless of skin color. We cherish the principle that all people, irrespective of race, are given equal opportunities to succeed and pursue their own happiness.