RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam made the following statement on Black History Month, which is celebrated nationwide during February.

“For too long, the stories we have told about Virginia’s history have diminished or ignored the contributions of African Americans. Black History Month is just one way we honor these tremendous accomplishments and ensure more people have a full and accurate understanding of our past.

As we work to better tell our true story, I encourage all Virginians to pause and recognize the depth of contributions Black Americans have made to the fabric of our Commonwealth and nation. Let’s not just do this today, tomorrow, or one month out of the year—but every day. Black history is American history.”

Governor Northam today issued a proclamation to commemorate February as Black History Month in the Commonwealth. The theme of 2020’s national Black History Month is “African Americans and the Vote.” This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave black men the right to vote, and the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Historic Justice and Equity
Throughout February, Virginia museums and historical sites will be hosting free public events to tell stories of accomplishments and contributions by African Americans. A list of such events can be found here.

Governor Northam’s proposed budget also includes a variety of measures to increase awareness of African American history, including $2.5 million to support K-12 attendance at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, over $7 million to support Historic African American sites, and over $2 million to provide students from across the Commonwealth the ability to visit the American Civil War Museum.