Congressman Cedric Richmond Tells Audience at the 32nd Annual Black History Observance Breakfast, ’It Was Black History that Made America Great’

With “alternative facts” and “fake news” prominent in politics these days, Congressman Cedric Richmond attempted to set the record straight on Monday while visiting Columbus.

Richmond, who represents Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, is the youngest person to serve as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill. He spoke at the 32nd Annual Black History Observance Breakfast held at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center.

Reflecting on the sacrifices made by Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and other black pioneers, Richmond said many black Americans are anxious about President Donald Trump. Richmond said they see it as an affront to all that was accomplished by the civil rights movement and the election of the country’s first black president.

Richmond said that’s why it’s important to know black history and the sacrifices made by previous generations.

“… We have someone running around here from every mountaintop, every radio, every TV, talking about ‘We’re going to make America great again,’” he said. “Well, it was black history that made America great in the first damn place.

“So, if you want to talk about how this country got to be a more perfect union, it got to be a more perfect union because of the blood, sweat and tears of the civil rights movement,” he said. “It became a more perfect union because John Lewis was beaten, and because King was killed, and because Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. That’s how America became a more perfect union.”

He said America didn’t wake up an “exceptional country,” it became an exceptional country.

“So no matter what you hear, or how often you hear it, or how many times you see it on a baseball cap, just know and take pride in how this country became great in the first place,” he said.

The Black History Month Observance Breakfast is an annual event under the direction of Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. In previous years, keynote speakers have included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee; Congressman Elijah Cummings; former Congressmen Floyd Flake, Bill Gray and J. C. Watts; former U.S. Surgeon Gen. David Satcher; House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn; and then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Proceeds from the event have benefited local nonprofit organizations such as the House of Mercy, the Columbus African American History Museum, and the Liberty Theatre and Cultural Center.

On Monday, Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe also addressed the audience, emphasizing the importance of black history. Music was provided by the Carver High School Fine Arts Department.

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Source: Ledger Enquirer | ALVA JAMES-JOHNSON