House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement to commemorate Black History Month:

“As we celebrate Black History Month, we are reminded of the great achievements African-Americans both past and present have made to help shape the fabric of our nation.  Throughout history, African-Americans have been remarkable inventors, philosophers, statesmen, writers, and leaders in our community. While Black History Month inspires us to recognize the vast number of achievements of African-Americans, we should continue to incorporate Black history in our schools’ American history curriculum year-round.  
“In the face of our nation’s most disgraceful moments, from slavery to segregation, African-Americans have showed incredible leadership, determination, and commitment in fighting for equality that has benefitted millions of Americans.  We should take the lessons of the past to advance our society beyond the oppression, prejudice, and hate that continues to plague our country. While our nation struggles to solve unemployment rates, bring our public schools to a competitive standard, mend our broken healthcare model, and fix our judiciary system, we must recognize that African-Americans are disproportionately affected when we fail to do so. As a nation, it is critical that we ensure every American, regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status has an equal opportunity to succeed.”