This month, Hirschler joins with the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in paying tribute during Black History Month to the generations of Black Americans who struggled with adversity and prejudice to achieve full citizenship in American society. And the struggle continues.
In 2023, we honored Sarah Garland Boyd Jones, Virginia’s first Black woman physician, Dr. Robert Walter Johnson, mentor of tennis greats Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, and Norvel Lee – Virginian, World War 2 Veteran, US Olympian, and civil rights warrior and pioneer. We also remembered last year the day in August, 1963, that Dr. Martin Luther King, inspired by Mahalia Jackson, made history at the Lincoln Memorial, and then gave a special gift to future basketball Hall of Fame coach George Raveling.
This year, we honor American jazz musician and bandleader Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, novelist Toni Morrison, and enslaved Virginian Elizabeth Heckley, who later worked in President Lincoln’s White House and became a confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln.
Click here to read more and follow along all February as we share more in honor of Black History Month.
Luis F. Ruiz