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Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. has proclaimed February as “Black HistoryMonth” in the Virgin Islands and joins the rest of the country in paying tribute to the heritage of Americans of African descent.
This year is the 47th anniversary of the founding of this month-long observance, a time to celebrate the contributions of black Americans to the national, social, scientific and political agenda, and to raise awareness of the individual and collective contributions of Americans of African descent to civilization in total.
“By celebrating Black History Month, we create an opportunity each year for people around the world to discover, and better understand and appreciate the contributions African-Americans have made to the development of the United States of America,” the governor said.
Black History Month is a time for students and the public to study how Americans of African descent can help to eradicate poverty, racism, further educate the community, and become involved in economic advancement. This will lead to the ongoing establishment of more African-American organizations, whose purpose will be to educate, develop businesses, training schools, labor unions, arts and cultural programs.
The Virgin Islands is endowed with the distinct honor of having the first elected black governor of any state, territory or commonwealth of the United States. The territory is also the only Caribbean island which has within its borders an institution of higher learning accredited by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities—the University of the Virgin Islands.
Governor de Jongh urges all Virgin Islanders to join him in observing Black History Month throughout February.