LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed February 2020 as Black History Month in Michigan to honor the significant cultural, historical and economic contributions of African Americans to both Michigan and the United States.
“Michigan has a rich history of diversity and the African American community has been essential in building the foundations of this great state. From Motown to Vehicle City to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Michigan is stronger because of this important history,” said Whitmer. “That is why I am proud to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of so many African American leaders as well as continue to build a more equitable Michigan where every person has a path to opportunity.”
The Black History Month 2020 theme, “African Americans and the Vote,” has been selected to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment, which granted black men the right to vote as well as highlights the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote and emphasizes that the voting rights of the citizens of the United States should not be denied in any state regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Black History Month is an important part of teaching Michigan students about the strength, endurance, and faith of African American leaders in their struggles for freedom and pay tribute to their continuous pursuit of overcoming these injustices. Studying the burdens of racial prejudice and stereotypes can open the door to innovative ideas and insight into building an environment in Michigan that continues to combat racism, to strive toward racial equity, and to be a place of freedom, opportunity, and inclusiveness for everyone.