February 01, 2018

Cortez Masto Statement on African American History Month

A black-and-white photographic postcard of Jack Johnson's corner before the "Fight of the Century" between Johnson and James J. Jeffries. Johnson wears a robe and is surrounded by training and support staff.
Source: National Museum of African American History & Culture

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement commemorating the celebration of African American History Month, which begins on Thursday, February 1 and ends on Wednesday, February 28:

“The history of America is a story of struggle, perseverance, justice, and freedom. From slavery to Jim Crow, and contemporary expressions of systemic and institutional racism, African Americans have wrestled with the significance we often ascribe to these words. As we honor African American History Month, I recognize a community with a deep history of enduring immense violence and oppression who, despite extraordinary challenges, have been resolute in doing all they can to fulfill the promise of a better life for future generations.

“Many African American men and women count themselves among the descendants of enslaved and freed ancestors whose humanity and resilience must be celebrated, whose contributions to the founding of our nation – from serving in the Revolutionary War, to building the United States Capitol and White House, to fighting for civil rights and dignity for all Americans – continues until this very day.

“In Nevada, I honor our own deep connection to African American history and culture. In Reno, the site of boxer Jack Johnson’s ‘Fight of the Century’ in 1910, our community is strengthened by the community activism of African American women like Evelyn Mount, who collects food and material goods for struggling families year round, and the fighting spirit of Former State Senator Bernice Martin Mathews, a retired nurse and small business owner who has dedicated her life to public service. Las Vegas, home to the July 22nd 1963 Heavyweight Championship between Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson, also has a lineup of heavyweight fighters and champions in our community. From the appointment of the first African American female state court judge, Tierra Jones, to the incredible and committed work of the City of Henderson’s new Police Chief, LaTesha Watson, these African-American women leaders inspire us all with their compassionate and visionary leadership. Together, Nevadans celebrate and honor the legacy of African Americans who are a critical part of the diverse future of our great nation.”