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Kentucky marks official recognition of Black History Month Thursday at State Capitol

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky’s official observation of Black History Month took place Thursday in the State Capitol Rotunda.

“Black history is American history,” said Rep. Pamela Stevenson, one of the speakers at the event. “We honor the contributions of Black Americans, by the establishment of Black History Month. We now recognize Black history 365 days a year.”

A large crowd filled the Capitol Rotunda to begin the celebration of Black History Month in Kentucky. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

Sen. Donald Douglas, R-Nicholasville, told the crowd, “I stand here today as a proud Black man, who is living the American dream, the purpose of our history. I come from a humble background in Western Kentucky and statistically I should not be where I am today. I’m a first-generation college graduate and I am honored to be a state senator.”

Gov. Andy Beshear was another guest. “Throughout February, we honor Black History Month and the incredible African Americans who have contributed to our commonwealth and to our country. Leaders of the past and present who have made strides to build a better world for all of our people.”

Beshear also took time to honor Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, the House Democratic Floor Leader who will retire at the end of the year after more than two decades in that chamber. “He has provided such incredible service, serving as both an educator in his role as a teacher, and in his role in the House of Representatives. He leaves behind an incredible legacy of service and fighting the good fight.”

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said, “We celebrate the achievements of Black Americans who have played pivotal roles in shaping our great state. In various fields, Kentucky stands as a testament to the success of the various individuals in the African American community.

“Black History Month is an opportunity not only to recognize those people, but to celebrate triumphs and abilities.”

While Black History Month has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, it has more recently started being observed in Ireland and the United Kingdom. While it takes place in February in both the U.S. and Canada, it is observed during the month of October in Ireland and the U.K.

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