As a state and nation shaped by the diversity of our citizens, it is vital we recognize and celebrate the different races, nationalities, and backgrounds of the land we love. Having faced slavery, many forms of oppression, deep-rooted adversity, and the life-threatening dangers of demanding equality and change, African-Americans are imbued with a unique strength and resilience, and their contributions and achievements are respected and greatly valued in the Lone Star State.
There are many examples of excellence throughout African-American history in Texas. The Buffalo Soldiers, regiments in the post-Civil War U.S. Army, overcame both harsh conditions and prejudice to help tame the Texas frontier, serving our nation with distinction. Bessie Coleman grew up in Atlanta, Texas, and inspired people worldwide, shattering long-held stereotypes as the first African-American woman to become a pilot. Barbara Jordan rose from humble beginnings in Houston to become the first African-American state senator in Texas in more than 75 years and a leader of the civil rights movement. Wallace Jefferson, raised in San Antonio, made history as the first African-American justice on the Texas Supreme Court and the court’s first African-American chief justice. Doris Miller and Richard Overton, American heroes and Texas legends, stand out even amongst America’s greatest generation who selflessly risked their lives in World War II. In our multicultural state, there is simply not a facet of life that has not been shaped in some way by the contributions of African-Americans.
Each year, February is designated African-American History Month to remember and reflect on the tribulations faced by the African-American community while learning from the vibrant culture and history and celebrating its many invaluable contributions. At this time, I encourage all Texans to join me in taking pride in and discovering more about the strength that comes from our diversity.
Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim February 2020, to be African-American History Month in Texas, and urge the appropriate recognition whereof.
In official recognition whereof, I hereby affix my signature this the 24th day of January 2020.
Governor Greg Abbott