House Dems Close Black History Month, Shift to Recognition, Celebration of Black History 365

Members of the House Democratic Caucus and Michigan Legislative Black Caucus gather around state Rep. Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids) as she speaks in support of a resolution to celebrate Black History Month on Feb. 28, 2024, at the state Capitol in Lansing.

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 29, 2024 — As House Democrats close Black History Month celebrations for 2024, members continue forward by recognizing and celebrating Black History 365. In response to celebrating Black history beyond February, members issued the following statements:

“I’m inspired and deeply humbled by my experiences this February. I had the honor of traveling around the state, taking part in various Black History Month celebrations with my colleagues in the Legislature. My resilience is re-energized to continue putting people first and to continue the fight for democracy and equality we all deserve. Black American history reminds us of the framework that makes the American dream work. As the month officially closes, we continue the recognition of Black Americans every day beyond February,” said Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D-Detroit). 

“This February is my second Black History Month celebration since my election to the state house. I continue to be inspired by the accomplishments of those before me and all the ways my colleagues and I have made substantial, positive gains for all Michiganders by putting people first. I encourage Michiganders to join Dem members in acknowledging Black history all year long. We must never forget that Black history is American history. Let’s uplift the contributions and legacy of African-Americans every month of the year by recognizing the work this group has done that benefits us all,” said state Rep. Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids).

On Wednesday, Grant introduced House Resolution 197 to officially recognize February 2024 as Black History Month in Michigan. The resolution read in part, “Black History Month is a time to reflect on the burdens of racial prejudice and explore, understand, and appreciate the identities and cultures across and within the African diaspora.” 

“It’s been a delight to travel across the state to help celebrate and highlight the accomplishments and contributions of Black people. And it’s been heartening to acknowledge Black legislators who’ve served Michiganders through the years. Their unique marks on history will always be cherished. I am proud of my Black friends and colleagues as we continue to work prioritizing the needs of Michiganders. The celebration of Black history starts in February, but this year I encourage us all to celebrate those making history — let’s continue to celebrate Black History beyond February,” said state Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw), chair of the House Democratic Caucus and Michigan Legislative Black Caucus executive vice chair. 

As the year continues, House Democrats will continue uplifting the contributions of Black Americans across our state, nation and world.