WHEREAS, Throughout the colonial and republican history of America, truly significant African-American contributions to the economy, social growth, sciences and arts of this great nation have all too often been ignored. This is an unfair and gross distortion of the facts, and truth cries out for justice. In recognition of this situation, February, throughout the nation, is now celebrated as Black History Month; and
WHEREAS, The progress of African-Americans, both in the nation generally and in the State of Rhode Island specifically, has been marked with both the tragedy of social inequalities and the triumph of group and individual achievements; and
WHEREAS, These accomplishments, from the earliest recordation of Black History in our State, have included those of slaves and former slaves who developed proficiencies in such industries as construction, dentistry, shipping and business, African-Americans in Rhode Island have also excelled as writers, painters, educators, academicians and politicians; and
WHEREAS, Such structures in the town of Newport as The Brick Market, later used as the town hall and theater; the Old Colony House which served Rhode Island as its capitol; and the Redwood Library, the oldest Library in America, pay lasting and beautiful homage to the African-Americans who lived in our State and played an integral role in their construction; and
WHEREAS, The citizenry of the State of Rhode Island owe a debt of gratitude to the "people of color" whose documented achievements have many times in our past gone unnoticed and unrecognized. It behooves all Rhode Islanders to observe this month of February by familiarizing themselves with African-American History, whether it be local, state, or national; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby sincerely expresses its continuing admiration for the myriad contributions made over the years by fellow Rhode Islanders of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and proudly proclaims the month of February to be Black History Month in Rhode Island; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society.