President’s Day and Black History Month Collide

19 Feb President’s Day and Black History Month Collide

On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois was elected President of the United States over Senator John McCain of Arizona.  Obama became the 44th president, and the first African American to be elected to that office. (source)

In a speech in 2016, President Obama celebrated Black History with the following words:

“Now, we gather to celebrate Black History Month, and from our earliest days, black history has been American history.  We’re the slaves who quarried the stone to build this White House; the soldiers who fought for our nation’s independence, who fought to hold this union together, who fought for freedom of others around the world.  We’re the scientists and inventors who helped unleash American innovation.  We stand on the shoulders not only of the giants in this room, but also countless, nameless heroes who marched for equality and justice for all of us.

Down through the decades, African American culture has profoundly shaped American culture — in music and art, literature, and sports…. We are so proud to honor this rich heritage.  But Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history — (applause) — or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington, or from some of our sports heroes.

It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America.”  (Read more of his speech…)

Join data2insight as we continue to celebrate those who have shaped American culture, including the work of the first African-American President, Barack Obama.