Black History Month in 2021 is particularly significant, although in a perfect world, people would be acknowledged and recognized for their contributions all year, not at specifically designated times. Black history IS American history, everyone should be aware of it, value it and uphold it.
According to a 2020 Pew Research Center survey released in June, four in ten Black adults said that working to get more Black people elected to office would be a very effective tactic for groups striving to help Black Americans achieve equality.
At the time of this report, the current 117th Congress included 61 Black members—56 in the House, plus two nonvoting delegates, representing the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands and 3 in the Senate. This is a record high and a large increase since 1965—when there were 5 Black representatives in the House and no representatives in the Senate. Great Job!!
Most importantly, I must acknowledge all the nameless people who made a huge statement by helping to turn out voters in record numbers, especially Black women, for both the Presidential election—electing Kamala Harris, the first woman, the first Black American and the first person of Asian descent (she is of mixed Jamaican and Indian heritage) as Vice President of the United States—and for the runoff election in Georgia. Excellent!!
This administration is off to a very good start. This year, dozens of Black Americans are poised to make history by joining the new Biden Administration, many holding positions that have never before been held by a Black person. In keeping with the historical significance that has surrounded this administration, we must recognize the Black Americans who have been tapped to serve. This does not diminish the presence of Black Americans already proudly serving in the federal government. You are also to be congratulated!!
In addition to Vice President Harris, there are at least 27 new faces of Black Americans—people who have exceptional skills and experience to do the job well—in President Biden’s Administration. Outstanding!!
Two are confirmed, the Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III* and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Rep. Marcia Fudge.
Eight are waiting for confirmation and are listed below, along with their position:
Fifteen appointees do not need to be confirmed and are listed below, along with their position:
I salute you all, during Black History Month and beyond.
The work you are tasked with is definitely difficult but not impossible. Particularly for such an awesome group of leaders and in conjunction with your colleagues in the federal government.
Next, keep an eye out for introductions of members of UCS’ Black Caucus, composed of the Black staff employed at UCS, through various social media pathways. These are the history makers of the future.
*Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III is a relative of author, Adrienne Hollis.