Black History Month
Today marks the start of Black History Month, an annual celebration of African Americans’ incredible achievements and contributions to our nation’s history. During the month of February, I will highlight various African American leaders on social media and on my website. I hope you will join me in honoring these men and women and share the posts among your networks.
This Sunday, February 4th, marks what would have been Rosa Parks’ 105th birthday. As you may recall, last year I passed a measure to name the Arlington and Grand Prairie portion of the SH 360 South extension the Rosa Parks Memorial Parkway. This will both honor her legacy and pay tribute to the rich diversity of our community.
Over the last few months, my staff and I have worked with the North Texas Tollway Authority and Dr. Jason Shelton, the Director of the Center for American Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, to finalize the language for the commemorative plaque that will be installed when the road is complete. It will read:
The Texas Legislature has designated this important Southeast Tarrant County road the Rosa Parks Memorial Parkway, in honor of an American hero whose courage helped to change our nation for the better. As a black woman in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, Ms. Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. This act of courage inspired the Civil Rights Movement, which aimed to eliminate racial discrimination and make the American Dream possible for all people. Ms. Parks’ fight for equality and fairness spanned her entire life, as she continued to tackle issues such as affordable housing and public education until her death in 2005.
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to befree…so other people would also be free.” – Rosa Parks
This spring, there will be an event to open the highway and unveil the plaque. As we get closer and confirm the details, I will send additional information so that you may mark your calendar.
In the meantime, I hope we can all reflect on the rich contributions of African Americans in Texas and across our nation this Black History Month.