2012 Black History Month in the State of New York


     LEGISLATIVE   RESOLUTION  memorializing  Governor  Andrew  M.  Cuomo  to
     proclaim February 2012 as Black History Month in the State of New York
     WHEREAS, Black History Month, previously known as  Negro  History  Week,
     was founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and was first celebrated on Febru-
     ary  1,  1926;  since 1976, it has become a nationally recognized month-
     long celebration, held  each  year  during  the  month  of  February  to
     acknowledge and pay tribute to African-Americans neglected by both soci-
     ety and the history books; and
       WHEREAS,  The month of February observes the rich and diverse heritage
     of our great State and Nation; and
       WHEREAS, Black History Month seeks to emphasize Black History is Amer-
     ican History; and
       WHEREAS, Black History Month is a time to reflect on the struggles and
     victories of African-Americans throughout our country's history  and  to
     recognize their numerous valuable contributions to the protection of our
     democratic society in war and in peace; and
       WHEREAS,  Some  African-American  pioneers whose many accomplishments,
     all which took place during the month of  February,  went  unnoticed  as
     well as numerous symbolic events in February, that deserve to be memori-
     alized  include:  John  Sweat Rock, a noted Boston lawyer who became the
     first African-American admitted to argue before the U.S.  Supreme  Court
     on  February  1,  1865, and the first African-American to be received on
     the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives; Jonathan Jasper  Wright,
     the  first  African-American  to hold a major judicial position, who was
     elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court on February 1, 1870;  Presi-
     dent  Abraham  Lincoln  submits  the proposed 13th Amendment to the U.S.
     Constitution, abolishing slavery, to  the  states  for  ratification  on
     February  1,  1865;  civil rights protester Jimmie Lee Jackson dies from
     wounds inflicted during a protest on February 26, 1965, leading  to  the
     historic  Selma,  Alabama  civil rights demonstrations, including Bloody
     Sunday in which 600 demonstrators, including  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.
     were  attacked by police; Autherine J. Lucy became the first African-Am-
     erican student to attend the University of Alabama on February 3,  1956,
     she  was  expelled  three days later "for her own safety" in response to
     threats from a mob; in 1992, Autherine Lucy Foster  graduated  from  the
     University  with a Master's degree in Education, the same day her daugh-
     ter, Grazia Foster, graduated with  a  Bachelor's  degree  in  Corporate
     Finance; the Negro Baseball League was founded on February 3, 1920; Jack
     Johnson,  the  first African-American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion,
     won his first title on February 3, 1903; and Reginald F.  Lewis, born on
     December 7, 1942, in Baltimore, Maryland, received his law  degree  from
     Harvard  Law  School  in  1968,  and  was a partner in Murphy, Thorpes &
     Lewis, the first Black law firm on Wall Street, and in 1989,  he  became
     President  and CEO of TLC Beatrice International Food Company, the larg-
     est Black-owned business in the United States; and
       WHEREAS, In recognition of the vast  contributions  of  African-Ameri-
     cans,  a joyful month-long celebration is held across New York State and
     across the United States with many commemorative  events  to  honor  and
     display the cultural heritage of African-Americans; and
       WHEREAS, This Legislative Body commends the African-American community
     for  preserving,  for  future  generations, its centuries-old traditions
     that benefit us all and add to the color  and  beauty  of  the  tapestry
     which is our American society; now, therefore, be it
       RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
     memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim February 2012 as  Black
     History Month in the State of New York; and be it further

       RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
     smitted  to  The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New
     York, and to the events commemorating Black History Month throughout New
     York State.