Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and this year’s theme is “African Americans in Times of War.”

Since the American Revolution, thousands of black Americans have selflessly given their lives to protect the United States and global democracy. This month, we honor these Americans for this incredible sacrifice, in addition to many other historical achievements in culture, politics, and science.

Without the African American community, the United States would not be the country it is today. Despite cruel mistreatment and discrimination across centuries of U.S. history, African Americans have stood up to fight for this country, time and time again, in defense of our core values. We must not forget all the progress, pain, and loss of life that made these lessons, and the slow progress we have achieved, possible.

Also, this month serves as an important reminder of the threat that occurs when political leaders marginalize and divide people on the basis of racial and ethnic lines. Whether it’s derogating other nations, criticizing cultures, or attacking this country’s most vulnerable residents, our president and some Congressional Republicans have demonstrated that they are—at best—unsympathetic towards the struggle of African Americans.

President Trump may brag that African American communities are doing better than ever, but conditions nationally and here in Florida’s District 6 paint a different picture: median income for black Americans is only $26,000 and unemployment is at 9.7%. These are troubling numbers, and definitely should not be considered applause-worthy achievements. (For reference, the US average is $46,000 and 4.1%).

Help me get to Congress so we can heal these divisions and make sure everyone benefits from the growing economy, not just top income earners or those allied with the current administration.

– Nancy Soderberg