Public Papers - 1991
Message on the Observance of National Afro-American (Black) History Month
This February, as we observe National Black History Month, we recognize the remarkable achievements of Black Americans and the many contributions they have made to our national heritage.
All of us can learn from the special programs and activities being conducted nationwide because Black history is, in fact, America's history. Our Nation has been shaped by the unique contributions of Black Americans, and, today, we share the pride of those courageous men and women who have triumphed over the bitter legacy of slavery and discrimination. Individuals like Frederick Douglass, Dr. Charles Drew, Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King are remembered throughout the world for the strength of their convictions and the wealth of their abilities.
However, history is more than a proudly declared list of past feats. It is an ongoing process that is created each moment as we go about our daily lives. Inspired by the efforts of those who struggled to open the doors of opportunity, Black Americans today are adding to their rich history by excelling in business, government, science, and education -- virtually every field of endeavor. Their achievements, like those of previous generations, can serve as powerful examples for our Nation's youth as we strive to create an environment free of the crime and drug abuse that are taking a toll on far too many young Americans. Black History Month challenges young people, not only to celebrate the great accomplishments of the past, but also to turn hard-won opportunity into a hopeful future.
I encourage all Americans to join me in the celebration of Black History Month.