By Jim Bloch
On behalf of the Port Huron City Council, Mayor Pauline Repp proclaimed February 2021 to be Black History Month.
The mayor, who took the action at the council’s regular meeting Feb. 8, forwarded the proclamation to Kevin Watson, president of the Port Huron Branch of the NAACP.
Watson was unable to make the meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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“Throughout Black History Month, we recognize the extraordinary achievements and acknowledge the many accomplishments Black Americans have made in our nation, our state and our city,” said Repp, reading the proclamation, as heard on the recording of the meeting posted on the city’s website. “Civil rights activists, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with courage and perseverance, inspired the nation to judge a person by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. As a result of their hard work, intelligence and determination, Black Americans have made valuable and lasting contributions, achieving exceptional success in all aspects of society including business, education, politics, science and the arts. Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the struggle for freedom and equal opportunity in the United States.”
Port Huron saw four separate demonstrations for social justice last year in the wake of the slaying of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The city council passed resolutions condemning the killing and declaring racism a public health crisis.
“Black History Month is time for all residents to remember the stories and teachings of those who helped them build our nation, take a stand against prejudice, build lives of dignity and opportunity, advance the cause of civil rights and strengthen families and communities,” Repp said. “The city of Port Huron continues to work toward becoming an inclusive city in which all citizens past, present and future are respected and recognized for their contributions to our city, state, country and the world. During Black History Month, all Americans are encouraged to reflect upon the successes and challenges of Black Americans and to look to the future to continue to improve society so that we can all live up to the ideals of freedom, equality and justice.”
The mayor announced that the city would display 20 banners recognizing Black History Month in the city’s downtown.