H O U S E R E S O L U T I O N
PROCLAIMING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY AS "BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN RHODE ISLAND"
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, African-Americans have been an integral part of Rhode Island's social, political and economic development from its beginning as a British colony to the formation of the United States; and
WHEREAS, From the initial shots fired in the struggle for American Independence, to the Rhode Island 1st Black Regiment's Battle of Newport, and the garrisons of the Rhode Island 14th Heavy Artillery Regiment (Colored) in 1863, Americans of African decent have responded to the call; and
WHEREAS, In recognition of the positive and patriotic contributions of African-American Rhode Islanders in the United States military, we honor their legacy of Resolute and Intrepid Duty to America; and
WHEREAS, These accomplishments, from the earliest recordation of Black History in our State, have included those of slaves, former slaves, and free men who served with pride to protect our vital interests and provide for our common defense; 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 a major 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 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.