February 1, 2013
Washington, D.C.- Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued the following statement on Black History Month:
“America’s diversity has the ability to bring us together and make us stronger. This month we celebrate our diversity and the immense contributions of the African-American community in the United States. Since our nation’s founding, the African-American community has influenced all aspects of our society and its leadership has helped to advance forward-thinking innovation in business, the arts, government, and in all elements of our multi-faceted communities.
“African-American history helps to tell the story of the nation. In each generation, black leaders have worked to galvanize the country to advance equality and fairness. In Nevada and in every other state, bold individuals fought to extend America’s promise of opportunity to everyone, no matter their background. Because of their courage, our nation’s narrative is defined by virtues like acceptance, openness, and love. I am inspired by those who helped to break down barriers to create new possibilities for all.
“Civic leaders in Nevada like J. David Hoggard Sr., Lubertha Johnson, Dr. William “Bob” Bailey, Sarann Knight Preddy and many others helped to reform the gaming industry, integrate the Las Vegas Strip, and fought for a better future for all Nevadans. We also remember the brave teenagers in Little Rock who faced protesters to attend school, the college students in Greensboro who fought to sit at a segregated lunch counter, the hundreds of thousands who marched on the Nation’s Capital to embrace a new dream of equality, and the countless others that endured hardship to have their voices heard.
“This year- on the national holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy- nearly one million Americans filled the National Mall to watch the second swearing in of President Barack Obama, our nation’s first African-American president. I was on the Mall in 1963 when Dr. King spoke of his dream for equality and fairness and I was humbled to be on the steps of the Capitol, five decades later, to see his dream had become a reality. In Nevada, we also acknowledge the significance of Rep. Steven Horsford being elected the first African-American to represent the Silver State in Congress.”
“While we celebrate these many voices of our past, we look forward to the many more to come who will make our nation a better, more equal place. Black History Month reminds us, more than anything, that work remains. I urge Nevadans and all Americans to take time in the coming weeks to reflect on this holiday and to join together to build upon the important efforts that these leaders began.”