Black History Matters

Feb 8, 2019

photo: A painting dedicated to the founders of Black History Month the Black United Students at Kent State University, by Ernie Pryor.

In solidarity, Debra Schrishuhn for Alan, Mike F, Mike H, Janis, Dan, Dr Bill, Kimberly, Bryan, and Shayna—your PDA National Team

Join Us Celebrating Black History Month

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) was founded in 2004 to achieve progress on key priorities, among them voting rights, economic and racial equality, peace, and so much more. As we celebrate Black History Month in 2019, we are painfully aware of racial, cultural, and religious divisions and polarization in these (dis)United States of America. What we often lack is an understanding of the intertwined relationship of African and European peoples in building this great nation.

This year’s official activities highlight Black Migration and 400 Years of Perseverance. In 1619 (one year before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock), some 20 kidnapped Africans arrived at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, from which some were taken to Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. These enslaved Africans were captured from the villages of Ndongo, Congo, and Kabasa in the Angola region of Africa.

As skilled farmers, herders, blacksmiths, and artisans, they possessed the exact skill sets needed for the nascent American colonies to survive and thrive. In every way, the horrendously coerced work of enslaved people from Africa built this nation from colonial status to super power—and this essential history is routinely scrubbed from our history books.

Through the unspeakably horrific and violent legacy of slavery and suppression in the Jim Crow era, to the bloody triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement and the fits and starts of integration and attempts to dismantle systemic racism still too prevalent today—we must fully acknowledge our shameful racist history before we can bring about restorative change to our society.

As PDA salutes Black History Month 2019, we work to educate ourselves and others about the conjoined history of African, Native, Asian, and European populations that have produced today’s American society. We recognize the need to work, work, and work even more for social, economic, and environmental justice, as Florynce (Flo) Kennedy—lawyer, feminist, civil rights advocate, lecturer, and activist—advocated throughout her life.

Our efforts to enact progress policies such as Medicare For All, the Green New Deal, Election Integrity, and a clean DREAM Act reflect our commitment to equality in the lives of all Americans. We are proud to support diverse Progressive Champions Barbara Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Ayanna Pressley, Ted Lieu, Tulsi Gabbard, Raul Grijalva, Deb Haaland, Ilhan Omar, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and so many others who are changing the face and priorities of the 116th Congress.

PDA will never stop fighting for Equality for All, economic and social justice for all, real democracy, and other progressive policies. Will you help? Please pitch in whatever you can afford to support our organizing for progressive wins in 2020.

P.S. We’re here to help you make progress in your state and locality! If you need help organizing a new PDA chapter or energizing your existing chapter, please contact PDA Field Coordinator Dan O’Neal. Join the PDA Phone Team making easy, effective calls from your own home with Mike “Phone Guy” Fox.

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