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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Black History Month

WHEREAS, February is recognized and commemorated in the United States as Black History Month, and we recognize the people, historic events, and the cultural moments that have shaped American and world history and our society today; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia at Fort Monroe was the site where the first Africans were brought in shackles to America as slaves, and later Fort Monroe served as the first legal safe haven for freedom seekers before the Emancipation Proclamation; and

WHEREAS, throughout American history, Black Virginians have shown resilience and perseverance through political, social, and cultural oppression, from slavery, through Jim Crow and massive resistance, and have risen above to shape our lives today in countless ways; and

WHEREAS, Virginia was home to many distinguished and impactful Black Americans, including civil rights pioneers Oliver Hill, Spottswood Robinson, Booker T. Washington, Dr. Robert Russa Moton, Maggie L. Walker, Dorothy Height, and Mary W. Jackson, to name a few; and 

WHEREAS, Virginia legal pioneers Oliver Hill and Spottswood Robinson dedicated their lives to civil rights activism, working through the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on major cases including Davis V. County School Board of Prince Edward County, which was one of four lawsuits decided under Brown v. Board of Education, enacting historic desegregation in schools across the country; and

WHEREAS, Virginia education pioneer Dr. Robert Russa Moton, served at Hampton Institute (later Hampton University), and succeeded Booker T. Washington as principal of Tuskegee University; and

WHEREAS, businesswoman and community leader, Maggie Lena Walker, born in 1864 as the Civil War raged across Virginia, achieved national prominence as the first woman in the United States to establish a bank; and

WHEREAS, Richmond native Dorothy Height, a civil rights champion, served as president of the National Council of Negro Women and co-organized, alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the March on Washington in 1966; and

WHEREAS, mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary W. Jackson, from Hampton, Virginia, was NASA’s first black female engineer, where she worked for 34 years, and was an essential part of the “Hidden Figures” team that successfully launched American astronauts into space; and

WHEREAS, Black Virginians continue to shape the economic, cultural, and political landscapes of Virginia and the country; and

WHEREAS, Virginia commemorates the historic firsts in political leadership in our Commonwealth with the election of Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, Speaker Don Scott, and Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas; and

WHEREAS, today, we recognize the historical obstacles and injustices that have been overcome, the work yet to be done, and stand in celebration for the successes of those who dared to challenge odds and barriers, and we remain committed to a bright future of opportunities for all;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize February 2024, as BLACK HISTORY MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.