The Black History Month breakfast staged annually by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was held Feb. 9 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center in Waldorf, Md.
The event, which spotlighted Black achievement, drew more than 400 community leaders from , Prince George’s, Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s and Anne Arundel counties. Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP was this year’s keynote speaker.
In his opening remarks, Hoyer, who helped launch the breakfast when he became a House member in 1981, discussed the importance of Black History Month to him.
“Black History Month is an opportunity for us to reflect on the many important contributions African Americans have made to our history and national life,” he said. “We must remember that Black history is American history.
“In my years in public office, both in Annapolis and in Washington, I have been privileged to serve with many outstanding African-American leaders working to continue making Maryland a great place for all to live and pursue the American dream.”
Hoyer also noted the extensive list of noteworthy African Americans from Maryland, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin Banneker and Billie Holiday.
Other guests included Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and the Gwynn Park High School R.O.T.C. from Brandywine.
For more than three decades, the breakfast has drawn numerous guest speakers including President Obama, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, civil rights activist and attorney Vernon Jordan, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).