WHEREAS, in 1915, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson recognized the need for our country to gain a more complete and informed understanding of its past, to which end he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and established the first Negro History Week to emphasize the history of African Americans; and
WHEREAS, we continue the tradition of Dr. Woodson by honoring African Americans past and present with the observance of African American History Month, which has been celebrated officially across our nation and our state since 1976; and
WHEREAS, this year’s theme is “Brown v. Board of Education – 50th Anniversary,” recognizing the United State’s Supreme Court’s landmark decision integrating public schools in Mississippi and across the nation; and
WHEREAS, our nation’s long, slow trek towards racial integration, harmony and equality is as yet unfinished and we, a state who for so long lead the fight of bigotry and hatred, must now be unsurpassed as a leader in the cause of racial progress; and
WHEREAS, African Americans have left an indelible mark on Mississippi’s culture and history, enriching our state’s music, literature, politics, education and industry, for which the state remains in their perpetual debt:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Haley Barbour, Governor of the State of Mississippi, hereby proclaim the month of February, 2004 as
AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
in the State of Mississippi and call on upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs that highlight and honor the invaluable contributions African Americans have made to our state and nation.
DONE in the City of Jackson, on the first day of February in the year of our Lord, two thousand and four, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and twenty-eighth.
Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741