Mayor de Blasio And First Lady Chirlane McCray Mark The Beginning Of African American History Month

February 1, 2014

Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray released the following statement today:

“In 1626, the Dutch West India Company imported 11 African slaves to New Amsterdam. Since that day, the history of our city has been shaped, often through sheer force of will in the face of unimaginable hardship, by African American New Yorkers and their ongoing struggle for justice.

The beginning of African American History Month is a chance for all New Yorkers to celebrate the legacy of not only those African American heroes memorialized on statues and street signs around our city – Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman and Jackie Robinson – but also those whose names have been forgotten, even as their unsung sacrifices continue to bear fruit.

It was Malcolm X who said, ‘Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research.’ The lessons of the African-American experience are universal and more relevant today than ever.”