Today marks the first day of February and the start of Black History Month, a time when we reflect upon the sacrifices and accomplishments of Black Americans, both here in NJ and around the country.
We are a strong state because we are a diverse state – diversity in ideas, thoughts, and people. But our challenges go well beyond a month of reflecting and celebrating.
Former President Barack Obama once said, “Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history 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. It’s about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go.”
Throughout this month, I encourage each of us to take time to reflect on the ways that we can ensure that there are opportunities for everyone, in education, job opportunities, housing, and more. I am committed to work towards a New Jersey that is free of systemic racial barriers.
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker
16th Legislative District