Celebrates Black History Month
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today in honor of Black History Month:
Black History Month, we celebrate the contributions of African Americans
and remember not just our heroes such as Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. and Frederick Douglass, but also the extraordinary lives of
ordinary people who helped build our great nation.
Americans continue to contribute to our nation and to make enormous
strides, despite having to overcome unspeakable hardship and indefensible
prejudice throughout history. With the indomitable spirit of Dr.
Dorothy Height, president emeritus of the National Council of Negro
Women, and new leaders such as Marc Morial at the National Urban
League, African Americans are making progress. More African American
families have joined the middle class and the number of black businesses
of this progress, we have a long way to go. This year, we will commemorate
the 50th Anniversary of the landmark civil rights case Brown v.
Board of Education that declared what we all knew to be true: "In
the field of public education the doctrine of separate but equal
has no place." Yet today, 50 years later, many poor and minority
children are concentrated in schools that fail to meet their needs.
Bush and the Republicans have promised, with great fanfare, to 'Leave
No Child Behind.' But when it comes to keeping those promises, they
take a recess from responsibility and leave millions of children
behind. The funding bill the Republicans passed this year falls
a staggering $8 billion below what was promised in the No Child
Left Behind bill, and it only funds a small portion of what was
promised for Title I, the program that helps at-risk students master
the basics. As happens all too often, black and minority children
will feel the impact most strongly.
is simply not acceptable. As the Supreme Court knew in 1954, every
child deserves the best education this great country can provide.
celebrate Black History Month, let us also recommit ourselves to
building a better future, beginning with the best education for
all our children."