February 01, 2023

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Celebrates Black History Month

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee today released the following statement celebrating the start of Black History Month, observed each year during the month of February.

“Over the next 28 days, our nation pauses to reflect and honor the significant contributions and sacrifices of our great African American heroes and sheroes, who dedicated and often sacrificed their lives to the fight for equity, civil rights, and social and economic justice.  

“This month, I look forward to celebrating the legacies of Black leaders and visionaries from my mentor Shirley Chisholm to Oakland native Angela Davis to the first Black woman pilot, Bessie Coleman. We must also take this opportunity to lift up the prolific Black Americans who made an impact but were not widely recognized for their contributions, like the Black women founders of the reproductive justice movement.

“We cannot truly honor their legacies, however, without recommitting to take up their work to remedy the deep and systemic injustices against Black people in this country. We as a nation must honor enslaved people and their descendants by dismantling its institutional remnants such as racism, discrimination, economic inequity, marginalization, and systematic underdevelopment. The legacy of slavery continues to cause harm each and every day, from the pervasive violent racism of police brutality to the lack of abortion access and higher maternal mortality rates for Black women.

“Black History is American history, and it is crucial to understanding the problems we face in the present day. The recognition of our impact cannot be limited to the duration of the shortest month of the year. This month and every month, let us all find renewed purpose and inspiration from the trailblazers who came before us and who fought so hard to take this country forward into a better future.”


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the Steering and Policy Committee, she is the highest ranking Black woman appointed to House Leadership.