The readers’ forum

African Americans have enriched Florida’s history

 

For the past 88 years, we have remembered the rich and diverse history of African Americans as we celebrate Black History Month. The achievements of African Americans touch every community and are found in every field of study, including science and technology. This is a time to remember the sacrifices and hard work of individuals who helped build a better and more tolerant life for all of us.

As we acknowledge the many African-American men and women who have helped the United States grow culturally, countless civil-rights pioneers in Florida have been equally as important and should be reflected upon as agents of change in our state.

For the past two years, the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame has honored Floridians who made great sacrifices and helped foster equality for all in our state. These heroes, such as pioneering educator Mary McLeod Bethune and civil-rights leaders C.K. Steele and Harry T. and Harriette Moore, were recognized for their unyielding commitment to equality, diversity and human dignity.

Gov. Rick Scott recently selected three new inductees for the Hall of Fame: Dr. Robert Hayling, James Johnson and A. (Asa) Philip Randolph. Each of these men was chosen for his commitment to advocating for equality and justice throughout Florida.

African Americans have much to celebrate and build upon as they honor those who have gone before. Black History Month gives us the opportunity to recognize the many ways African Americans have enriched Florida's communities, culture and history.

Mario Valle, chair, Florida Commission on Human Relations, Tallahassee

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