Press Release ● Human and Civil Rights
For Immediate Release: 
February 2, 2006
Contact Info: 
Liz Packard
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in recognition of Black History Month, which began Wednesday and will be observed throughout the month of February:

             “On Tuesday, we learned the sad news that Coretta Scott King, widow of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., passed away at the age of 78.  Coupled with the passing last fall of Rosa Parks, America mourns the loss of two of our greatest civil rights pioneers, and two of our most influential citizens.  As we celebrate Black History Month this February, these two much-revered women will be on our minds. 

             “Yet Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, and the countless other heroes of the civil rights movement –  from those whose names appear in the history books to those who have bravely taken a stand against injustice wherever it exists – should, and must be honored for more than one month a year.  One lasting way that we can honor their landmark contributions is through renewing provisions of the Voting Rights Act that are up for reauthorization this year.  The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped codify the demand for full enfranchisement that the civil rights movement fueled.  The VRA is vital to the functioning of our democracy, and I hope that it receives wide, bipartisan support yet again.

             “So, I join the Congressional Black Caucus, and indeed all Americans, in celebrating Black History Month.  We honor the sacrifices and contributions of our African American leaders, innovators, and trailblazers, and must renew our commitment to equality and justice for all Americans.”