Eric C. Bauman – Chair, Los Angeles County Democratic Party and Vice-Chair, California Democratic Party
“History has shown that the road to justice and equality is a bumpy one, and African American history exemplifies this journey. Of all the trials and tribulations African Americans have gone through, the fight for quality education, and the crucial role of education for the community has remained a hallmark of this struggle. From the time of slavery when black men and women were forced to learn to read and write in secret, to the fight over the last quarter century for sufficient funding of public schools in urban neighborhoods, the benefits of equal, quality education still remain elusive to many blackpeople of all ages.
“With the understanding that an education is the ticket to a better future and a lack of education serves as a pipeline to prison for youths of all races, Democrats are proud to be at the forefront of the battle for equal access to quality education, recognizing it as one of the means to reform the criminal justice system and keep our neighborhoods safe. We refuse to sit idly by as our jails swallow up a disproportionate population of black men, women, and children. We see public schools in inner cities lose resources, endure overcrowding, exhibit a clear racial achievement gap, and deal with ineffective policies that fail to deliver substantial results. So while we reflect on how far African American rights have come, we MUST recognize how much further we have to go, and the fight for quality education for people of color remains at the forefront, not just for Democrats, but for humanity.
“We at the Democratic Party will not rest until every child, regardless of the color of their skin, has the same access to a free, high quality education as their peers across the United States. The history we honor this month must be as much about future Black History and potential, as it is about past history.”
Bobbie Jean Anderson – Vice-Chair, Los Angeles County Democratic Party
“While I celebrate my blackness every day, I also realize the importance of Carter G. Woodson feeling the need to bring attention to the contributions of African Americans. It is ironic that in 2017, the President and his administration seems to have no clue about our history, which was made especially evident given his comments about Frederick Douglass. It forces us to beg the question, does he really want to “Make America Great Again?” Speaking of Frederick Douglass in present tense is nothing short of an embarrassment.
“If President Trump wants to reference Frederick Douglass, I would recommend he thinks about one of the following quotes: ‘Without a struggle, there can be no progress.’ ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and never will.'”
Carolyn Fowler – Corresponding Secretary, Los Angeles County Democratic Party
“Black History month is especially important this year in celebrating the significant contributions African Americans have given to this country and to the world. Voting rights, civil rights, and equal access to education are under siege, especially under the current White House administration, and the need for constant vigilance is vital. The ballot box is our voice, and our voice has never been more powerful. We must resist and defend any and every attempt to silence the vote, suppress the voice, or threaten the tenants of democracy.”
Darren Parker – Chair, California Democratic Party African American Caucus
“While recognizing how far African Americans have come in the fight for equality, we recognize that progress has only been made because of those who have been educated on the work we have done, the battles we’ve won, and the battles in which we continue to fight. We continue the struggle for equality from the shoulders of giants who have learned from the giants who came before them.
“Throughout the final years of the twentieth century and continuing today, the crisis in black education has grown significantly in urban neighborhoods where public schools lack resources, endure a racial achievement gap, experience horrific overcrowding, and fail to deliver on the promises and policies we have been making to many blacks of all ages. Yet, African American history is rich in centuries-old efforts of resistance to this crisis; through slaves’ surreptitious endeavors to learn, the rise of black colleges and universities after the Civil War, the unrelenting battles in the courts, the Black History movement, the freedom schools of the 1960s, and the local community-based academic and mentorship programs that inspire the love of learning and the thirst for achievement.
“Addressing the crisis in black education should be considered one of the most important goals in America’s past, present, and future. For these reasons, we look toward great leaders like Carter G. Woodson, the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life & History, who said, ‘If you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race, he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race.'”