Celebrate Black History MonthFebruary 7, 2024
February is Black History Month, a time when we celebrate the many achievements and contributions Black Americans have made to our country as we continue to reckon with the systemic racism from our past that is still prevalent today.
Official recognition of Black History Month started with a proclamation from President Gerald Ford 48 years ago.
The theme for this year's month-long celebration is “African Americans and the Arts,” which spotlights Black Americans who excelled in various fields of creative expression, and the influence they have on our country's culture.
Connecticut was home to several notable moments in Black history. The Canterbury Female Boarding School, the first boarding school for young Black girls in the country, was located in Canterbury. Abolitionist John Brown was born in Torrington. The 29th Colored Regiment, an all-Black regiment based out of Fair Haven during the Civil War, were one of the first units to enter Richmond, Virginia after it was abandoned by the Confederate Army.
Thanks to the tireless work of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and other colleagues in the General Assembly in 2019, Connecticut became the first state to require public schools to include Black and Latino history in their curriculums. Black history is American history, and this law ensures that the stories and triumphs of Black Americans will be taught throughout the school year.
We encourage everyone to take some time to celebrate and learn more about Black history. Connecticut is home to several organizations that honor and celebrate the Black experience, such as the Amistad Center for Art & Culture in Hartford, and the Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American Museum in Stratford.
Every day, not just this month, we should take time to learn more about Black history, stand up against injustice, and speak out.