Every year, when the calendar turns to February, it is a chance for all citizens to celebrate the role of Black Americans in shaping our country’s history and recognize their many contributions to society. This February, as current events cast a renewed spotlight on racial injustice in America, we have even more reason to honor Black History Month and all that it signifies.
As our nation embarks on the path to true equality, we have recently witnessed several historic milestones and important signs of progress for Black Americans. At the Massachusetts Bar Association, we are especially grateful for our state’s October appointment of Kimberly S. Budd as the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. Fittingly, her father, former U.S. Attorney Wayne A. Budd, became the MBA’s first Black president in 1979. And just last month, in Washington, D.C., we saw Kamala Harris sworn in as our country’s first female vice president and the first person of color to hold that office.
Even as we celebrate these monumental achievements, we must always remember that they represent nearly 250 years of struggle for Black Americans. Keeping that painful legacy in mind, we should all treat Black History Month as a critical opportunity to learn and better ourselves.