California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly Concurrent ResolutionNo. 9


Introduced by Assembly Members Mitchell, Bradford, Brown, Hall, Holden, Jones-Sawyer, and Weber

(Principal coauthors: Senators Price and Wright)

January 28, 2013


Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 9—Relative to Black History Month.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

ACR 9, as introduced, Mitchell. Black History Month.

This measure would recognize February 2013 as Black History Month, urge all citizens to join in celebrating the accomplishments of African Americans during Black History Month, and encourage the people of California to recognize the many talents, achievements, and contributions that African Americans make to their communities.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, distinguished African
2American author, editor, publisher, and historian, who is known
3as the “Father of Black History,” founded Negro History Week in
41926, which became Black History Month in 1976, intended to
5encourage further research and publishing regarding the untold
6stories of African American heritage; and

7WHEREAS, The history of African Americans here in the
8United States, as well as throughout the ages, is indeed unique and
9vibrant, and it is appropriate to celebrate this history during the
10month of February 2013, which has been proclaimed as Black
11History Month; and

P2    1WHEREAS, There is even greater cause for a reverent
2celebration in 2013 as Americans reflect on the significance of the
3150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 50th
4anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,
5and the 50th anniversary of the death of civil rights leader Medgar
6Evers; and

7WHEREAS, The history of the United States is rich with
8inspirational stories of great men and noble women whose actions,
9words, and achievements have united Americans and contributed
10to the success and prosperity of the United States; and

11WHEREAS, During the first millennium, the Catholic Church
12had three popes who were either from Africa or of African descent:
13Saint Victor I (189-99), Saint Miltiades (311-14), and Saint
14Gelasius I (492-96); and

15WHEREAS, The slave trade was a tragic episode in African
16history and began before August 1619 when the first slaves arrived
17in Jamestown, Virginia. During the course of the slave trade, an
18estimated 50 million African men, women, and children were lost
19to their native continent, though only about 15 million arrived
20safely to a new home. The others lost their lives on African soil
21or along the Guinea coast, or finally in holds on the ships during
22the dreaded Middle Passage across the Atlantic Ocean; and

23WHEREAS, The first American to shed blood in the revolution
24that freed America from British rule was Crispus Attucks (March
255, 1770, Boston Massacre), an African American seaman and slave.
26African Americans also fought in wars including the Battles of
27Lexington and Concord in April 1775, Ticonderoga, White Plains,
28Bennington, Brandywine, Saratoga, Savannah, Yorktown, Bunker
29Hill, the Battle of Rhode Island on August 29, 1775, and other
30revolutionary war battles, the War of 1812, including, the Battle
31of New Orleans, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World
32Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam; and

33WHEREAS, In spite of the African slave trade, many Africans
34and African Americans continued to move forward in society;
35during the Reconstruction period, two African Americans served
36in the United States Senate and 14 sat in the House of
37Representatives; and

38WHEREAS, From the earliest days of the United States, the
39course of its history has been greatly influenced by Black heroes
40and pioneers in many diverse areas, from science, medicine,
P3    1business, and education to government, industry, and social
2leadership; and

3WHEREAS, Africans and African Americans have also been
4great inventors, inventing and improving things such as the
5air-conditioning unit, almanac, automatic gearshift, blood plasma
6bag, clothes dryer, doorknob, doorstop, electric lamp bulb, elevator,
7fire escape ladder, fountain pen, gas mask, golf tee, horseshoe,
8lantern, lawnmower, lawn sprinkler, lock, lubricating cup,
9refrigerating apparatus, spark plug, stethoscope, telephone
10transmitter, thermostat control, traffic signal, and typewriter; and

11WHEREAS, A number of these brave and accomplished
12individuals, such as Booker T. Washington, George Washington
13Carver, Matthew Hansen, Daniel Hale Williams, Dr. Charles Drew,
14Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, Curt Flood, Medgar Evers, and,
15of course, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are noted prominently in
16the history books of students nationwide, thus enabling them to
17learn about the important and lasting contributions of these
18individuals; and

19WHEREAS, Among those Americans who have enriched our
20society are the members of the African American
21community--individuals who have been steadfast in their
22commitment to promoting brotherhood, equality, and justice for
23all; now, therefore, be it

24Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate
25thereof concurring,
That the Legislature takes great pleasure in
26recognizing February 2013 as Black History Month, urges all
27citizens to join in celebrating the accomplishments of African
28Americans during Black History Month, and encourages the people
29of California to recognize the many talents, achievements, and
30contributions that African Americans make to their communities;
31and be it further

32Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
33of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.



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