WHEREAS, Black History Month grew out of the establishment, in 1926, of Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History; and
WHEREAS, the national theme for this year’s observance is “African Americans in Times of War;” and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is home to nearly 1.5 million African Americans currently and, throughout history, many have played significant roles in Pennsylvania’s economic, cultural, spiritual and political development while working tirelessly to maintain and promote their culture and history; and
WHEREAS, many African American historical firsts happened in Pennsylvania: in 1787, prominent religious leaders Richard Allen and Absalom Jones organized the Free African Society, one of the first black mutual aid societies anywhere, the Philadelphia Colored Female Free Produce Society boycotted products produced by slave labor and exerted economic pressure on slave states, and, in 1838, William Whipper founded The National Reformer, the first black newspaper in the state; and
WHEREAS, African Americans in Pennsylvania served as conductors on the Underground Railroad, fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and worked in the shipyards in Philadelphia, the coal and steel industries in Steelton and Pittsburgh, and the railroad industry in Erie and Harrisburg; and
WHEREAS, the commonwealth is proud to honor the history and contributions of African Americans in our state and throughout the nation.
THEREFORE, in recognition of African Americans past and present in our commonwealth, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim February 2018 to be BLACK HISTORY MONTH. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to celebrate this important observance and to continue to work toward the goal of liberty and justice for all.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this tenth day of January two thousand eighteen, the year of the commonwealth the two hundred forty-second.
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