Governor Maura T. Healey today signed her first proclamation as Governor, recognizing February as Black History Month in Massachusetts and urging all residents to join her in honoring the history and contributions of Massachusetts’ Black community.
“Black history is American history. It’s filled with moments of pain, perseverance, overwhelming joy and profound love. This month, and every month, I hope Massachusetts residents will join me in honoring Black changemakers and innovators of the past and present,” said Governor Healey. “As Governor, I’m committed to building an administration that sees the dignity and worth of every person. We will value and protect Black lives, and work to break down the barriers holding our Black communities back.”
The full text of the proclamation is below. Governor Healey’s Black History Month video can also be accessed here.
Whereas, Black History Month was first celebrated nationally in 1976 during the United States Bicentennial; and
Whereas, Black History Month has a rich cultural history throughout the United States, symbolizing the enduring strength and significance of civil rights pioneers including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Phillis Wheatley, and Frederick Douglass; and
Whereas, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to play an integral role in the movement towards equality, having been host to a number of historic events and monuments such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights march from Roxbury to Boston Common, being home to the pioneering Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, and featuring “The Embrace” sculpture by Hank Willis Thomas depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King; and
Whereas, The Commonwealth must continue to move towards equality, recognizing the barriers faced by the Black community and addressing structural racism and social, political, and economic inequalities; and
Whereas, Black History Month is an opportunity to recognize the many contributions and achievements by Black leaders and members of the community to the Commonwealth throughout the course of our history from Massachusetts natives like W.E.B. Du Bois and Ruth M. Batson; and
Whereas, This year’s Black History Month theme is “Black Resistance”, bringing awareness to the historically underserved Black community through oppression in various forms. “Black Resistance” recognizes the achievements and progress that the Black community has made through opposition to racial constructs and prejudices as is evident through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act, and increased representation in government and politics; and
Whereas, Black History Month is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the significant history and contributions of the Black community throughout the Commonwealth and the United States, as well as to bring awareness to the challenges faced by the Black community and the methods in which they have tirelessly worked to conquer such adversity,
Now, Therefore, I, Maura T. Healey, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim February 2023 to be,
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take
cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this first day of February, in the year two thousand and twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and forty-sixth.
BY HER EXCELLENCY
MAURA T. HEALEY
GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH
LT. GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN
SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH