04-R 074

2004 -- H 7794

Enacted 02/12/04


H O U S E  R E S O L U T I O N





     Introduced By: Representatives Shavers, Cerra, Crowley, Benson, and Kennedy

     Date Introduced: February 12, 2004



     WHEREAS, Throughout the colonial and republican history of America, truly significant

African-American contributions to the economy, social growth, sciences and arts of this great

nation have all too often been ignored. This is an unfair and gross distortion of the facts, and

truth cries out for justice. In recognition of this situation, February, throughout the nation, is now

celebrated as Black History Month; and

     WHEREAS, The progress of African-Americans, both in the nation generally and in the

State of Rhode Island specifically, has been marked with both the tragedy of social inequalities

and the triumph of group and individual achievements; and

     WHEREAS, African-Americans have been an integral part of Rhode Island's social,

political and economic development from its beginning as a British colony to the formation of the

United States; and

     WHEREAS, From the initial shots fired in the struggle for American Independence, to

the Rhode Island 1st Black Regiment's Battle of Newport, and the garrisons of the Rhode Island

14th Heavy Artillery Regiment (Colored) in 1863, Americans of African descent have responded

to the call; and

     WHEREAS, In recognition of the positive and patriotic contributions of African-

American Rhode Islanders in the United States military, we honor their legacy of Resolute and

Intrepid Duty to America; and

     WHEREAS, These accomplishments, from the earliest recordation of Black History in

our State, have included those of slaves, former slaves, and free men who served with pride to

protect our vital interests and provide for our common defense; and

     WHEREAS, Such structures in the town of Newport as the Brick Market, later used as

the town hall and theater; the old Colony House which served Rhode Island as its capitol; and the

Redwood Library, the oldest Library in America, pay lasting and beautiful homage to the

African-Americans who lived in our State and played a major role in their construction; and

     WHEREAS, The citizenry of the State of Rhode Island owe a debt of gratitude to the

"people of color" whose documented achievements have many times in our past gone unnoticed

and unrecognized. It behooves all Rhode Islanders to observe this month of February by

familiarizing themselves with African-American History, whether it be local, state, or national;

now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby proudly proclaims February as "Black History Month" and we

further recognize and applaud the sacrifices and myriad contributions made by African-American

men and women throughout this great nation's history; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society.