The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is proud to join our nation in commemorating Black History Month. This is a time for us to reflect on the diverse contributions and perseverance of African Americans throughout our country’s history. While this month is a reminder of our nation’s darkest days, it is also a testament to enduring human strength, spirit, and the ongoing pursuit of justice in America.
Our nation has improved immeasurably thanks to the sacrifice, leadership, ingenuity, and activism of generations of African Americans. The civil rights movement was essential to tearing down the walls of racial oppression. Similarly, the labor movement owes much of its progress to African American leaders and advocates who fought against economic and workplace injustice.
This month, we remember the artists, poets, and musicians who developed new forms of expression and enriched our lives. We remember authors, inventors, and scholars who continue to touch our hearts, lives, and minds. We remember lawmakers, organizers, and advocates who laid the groundwork for progressive reforms. We remember trailblazers across every segment of our society, and renew our commitment to upholding those dreams.
W.E.B. Du Bois, an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, and author, once said that “the cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” These words hold just as true today, and as we confront the challenges ahead – be them racial, economic, or social – we must remain steadfast in our drive towards progress.