As we begin the celebration of Black History Month, I am pleased to join with all Americans in honoring the tremendous contributions of African Americans to our nation. One month does not do justice to honor the rich history of a community that has overcome so much. Black History Month is an opportunity for Unions all across America to pay tribute to the contribution and loyal support of African-Americans to the United States of America.

Throughout time, African-Americans triumphed over great obstacles while trying to carve out a place for themselves in American society. While many barriers have been removed, there is still far to go on the road to racial equality and full participation in American institutions such as the electoral process.. Unions will continue to fight for the issues and the solutions that affect and improve the well-being of the African-American community and all Americans.

As painful recent history has shown us, the wounds of racial oppression have not fully healed. And it is the lessons that we learn from history that will lead us to a truly unified and equal society. I am proud to recognize the achievement of great African-American leaders from Georgia—Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Dr. Joseph Lowery, and Rev. James Orange, and countless others who have paved the way to a better today, and continue to work with today’s leaders to help create a better tomorrow.

In 1963 there were only five African-Americans in the house, and today we have thirty-nine. We saw the election of the first African-American Governor, L. Douglas Wilder in Virginia, the first African-American Senator, Carol Mosley in Illinois, and we had African-Americans run the largest cities in the nation, including Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I am proud to be a Union member that produced all of the firsts, and we are always working hard to increase the number of African-Americans elected to office.

Kenny Bradford
Local 10







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