Proclamation Recognizing February 2023 as Black History Month
From Vallejo Weekly
WHEREAS, through courage, perseverance, faith, and resolve against incredible prejudice and hardships, Black Americans have positively influenced, enriched, and advanced every aspect of American life; and the continuing fight for civil rights, equality, and respect motivates every American to strive for a more promising, peaceful, and just future; and
WHEREAS, during Black History Month, we honor the extraordinary contributions made by Blacks throughout the history of our Nation including the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the current Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris, and we renew our commitment to liberty and justice for all by supporting freedom, diversity, equity, and inclusion; and
WHEREAS, the 2023 theme is Black Resistance.
Since arriving on these shores, Blacks have resisted historic and ongoing oppression in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings. The resistance has been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond. The 1950s and 1970s in the United States were defined by actions such as sit-ins, boycotts, walk outs, strikes by Black people and white allies in the fight for justice against discrimination in all segments of society from employment to education to housing. Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Systematic oppression has sought to negate much of the dreams of the griots, like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston and the freedom fighters, like Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Huey P. Newton, and Fannie Lou Hamer fought to realize. Black people have sought ways to nurture and protect Black lives, and for autonomy of their physical and intellectual bodies through armed resistance, voluntary emigration, nonviolence, education, literature, sports, media, politics, and legislation*; and
WHEREAS, the City of Vallejo has benefited from the contributions of African Americans who settled in Vallejo from the early 1800’s to present including Alfred Coffey, Johnnie M. Thomas, Alonzo Gholikely, James Owens, Alvin Logan, Sam Brown, Charles A. Toney, James Williams, Charles McGree, Collia Scruggs, Reverend C.H. Toney, Ellsworth Courtney,
Haskell Forte, Bernice McGriff, Sargent Johnson, Walter Freeman, Ernest Gains, B.W. Williams, Dick Bass, Grace Logan Patterson, Jesse M. Bethel, Philmore Graham, Lewis Brown Sr. , Bernard Tyson, Jimmie Jackson, Foster Hicks, Osby Davis, Earl Stevens, C.C. Sabathia, H.E.R. (Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson), and numerous others; and
WHEREAS, This month, we celebrate the cultural heritage, diverse contributions, and resilient spirit of African Americans; and we commend the heroes, pioneers, and common Americans who tirelessly fought for and firmly believed in the promise of racial equality granted by our Creator, enshrined in our Constitution, and enacted into our laws, so let us pledge to continue to stand against the evils of bigotry, intolerance, and hatred so that we may continue in our pursuit of a more perfect America.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED that I, Robert H. McConnell, Mayor of the City of Vallejo, and the Vallejo City Council, hereby proclaim February 2023 as Black History Month, and we call upon public officials, educators, and everyone to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities; and we urge all organizations to embrace the spirit of Black History Month yearround by supporting and practicing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Dated: February 14, 2023
ROBERT H. McCONNELL, MAYOR
Vice Mayor Rozzana Verder-Aliga
EdD, District 1
Councilmember Tina Arriola District 6
Councilmember Peter Bregenzer District 5
Councilmember Mina Loera- Diaz District 3
Councilmember Diosdado “JR” Matulac District 2
Councilmember Charles Palmares District 4
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