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History of Black History Month



The first celebration occurred on February 12, 1926. For decades, the second week of February was reserved for this observance, as it coincided with the birthdays of the luminaries Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the week was expanded as part of the U.S. bicentennial. Since then, Presidents have proclaimed the month of February as National Black History Month, which enables the nation to fully focus on this important observance.


 

The Los Angeles Regional Office and the VA are honored to join in the annual, nationwide celebration of Black History Month. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of this month. It is a time to remember, recognize and revere the great sacrifice and selfless service of Black Americans to the United States. Black Americans have made significant contributions to every aspect of American life—academia, business, entertainment, government, law, literature, medicine and science, non-profit, religion, sports and many other fields. Their contributions are an indelible and essential part of the United States.


 

Thank You: The United States we know and love today would not be possible without the courage of yesterday’s Black men and women in uniform. Through their sacrifice and service, they spearheaded change that brought about greater equality—for Black Americans and for all minority communities. Today, and throughout the month, take time to reflect on all of these courageous men and women and the struggles they endured, and the battles they won. We need to continue combating institutional racism and discrimination, rather than perpetuating it. We need to ensure that Black Americans—and people of every racial and ethnic group—enjoy opportunities to serve Veterans through a variety of rewarding and fulfilling careers here at VA. We need to listen to Veterans and employees, particularly Black Veterans and employees, about where we’re falling short and what we need to do better.


Note from Los Angeles VA Regional Office

Assistant Director, Jamie Cannon

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