PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
African-Americans have played a central role in our nation’s history, but for too long historians ignored or glossed over their contributions and the injustices they have suffered. The origins of Black History Month can be traced to the scholar Carter G. Woodson, who in 1926 conceived a yearly celebration to help rectify the omission of African-Americans from history books. Today, the observance of Black History Month throughout the United States stands as testament to the success of Woodson’s project and an example of how we can work together to make the teaching of history more honest.
The theme of Black History Month 2013 is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.” These two great turning points in American history came more than one hundred years apart, the former on the first day of 1863 and the latter on August 28, 1963. In the century between their formal emancipation and the successful campaign to have their civil rights protected by the law, African-Americans suffered oppression as brutal as the abuses of slavery and exclusion from the ever-growing prosperity that other Americans enjoyed. Facing terrible odds, they worked tirelessly to achieve full equality with other citizens, and this month we celebrate their bravery, toil and sacrifice on this long road to justice.
NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim February, 2013, as “Black History Month.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 31st day of January 2013.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State