Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
February 1, 2021
Contact Info: 
Katie Grant Drew 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in recognition of Black History Month:

"This year, as I begin to observe Black History Month, my joy at the celebration of such a rich and wonderful history is tempered by the sadness at the loss of my dear friend John Lewis as well as at the painful reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused such terrible loss of life disproportionately felt among African-American families and communities.  At the same time, our country is struggling to secure equal justice for all, and I continue to be deeply angered by the killing of African Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor during encounters with law enforcement.  On January 6, the nation watched as violent insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, waving Confederate flags and erecting a lynching noose, recalling some of the darkest days of slavery, segregation, and sedition.  
"While we pay tribute each February to the heroes of the past, this year our focus is rightly on the present.  We draw strength as a nation, as always, from those who came before us to overcome long odds and achieve great victories for our democracy and for the causes of justice and equality.  In 2021, however, joy is difficult to reach through the thick fog of grief, anger, and injustice.  So, we must work extra hard to bring it within reach through our enduring hope that, as Dr. King said, 'the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.'
"Our perseverance and resolve will see us through to that day of justice.  Our commitment to standing together as one nation in the face of our challenges will see us through to a time of true equality.  Our celebration of Black History will remind us that every dark night gives way, at last, to a brighter dawn, made even sunnier by our work, hand-in-hand, to build the better tomorrow we know is possible for our country.  
"John Lewis once said: 'Freedom is not a state; it is an act.  ...Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.'  Together, drawing strength from our celebration of Black History, let us be agents of freedom, of justice, of equality, and of the fuller democracy we know is attainable."