WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement today in recognition of Black History Month, which begins tomorrow:
“As we celebrate Black History Month 2020, whose theme is ‘African Americans and the Vote,’ we look for inspiration to the powerful stories of those throughout our history who stood up and demanded equality and the right to vote – and those who still do so today. Let us remember the men and women who led the Civil Rights Movement, including my dear friend and American hero, Rep. John Lewis. Those courageous individuals organized freedom rides, led sit-ins, and fought alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They marched in Selma on ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1965, and many gave their lives for the cause of voting rights. As a result of that struggle, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, one of the most important civil rights achievements in our nation’s history.
“However, in 2013 the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the VRA, allowing the enactment of discriminatory laws and practices to effectively disenfranchise many African-Americans in communities across the nation. I was proud to partner with John, with Rep. Terri Sewell, and with Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, to pass H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, last year to restore the protections and ensure all Americans can exercise their most fundamental right.
“As we honor African Americans throughout the month of February, House Democrats renew our call for the Senate to take up and pass H.R. 4 to restore the right to vote. In partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus, we will continue working to advance equality and opportunity for all Americans. Let us dedicate ourselves to making 2020 a year when every American can cast a ballot without hindrance and have an equal voice in shaping the future of our country together.”