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Gov. John Carney and DSU's Imani B. Washington hold the proclamation signed by the state's Chief Executive declaring February as Black History Month in Delaware. Ms. Washington gave an address during the ceremony.
In this photo: Gov. John Carney and DSU’s Imani B. Washington hold the proclamation signed by the state’s Chief Executive declaring February as Black History Month in Delaware. Ms. Washington gave an address during the ceremony.
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SGA Imani Washington represents at Gov.’s Black History Mo. ceremony

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Imani B. Washington, SGA Corresponding Secretary represented Delaware State University well at a ceremony in which Gov. John Carney signed a proclamation declaring February as Black History Month in Delaware.

Ms. Washington joined Gov. Carney, legislators and members of the public at the ceremony – held in the Delaware State Archives in Dover – where she gave an address on her perspective on Black History Month (see the entire address below).Rep. Kendra Johnson (r) recognized DSU alumna Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden (l) as the founder of the GA's Black Caucus.

Representatives of the Delaware General Assembly’s Black Caucus were also in attendance – including DSU alumni Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden, Rep. Nnamdi Chukwuocha, Rep. Sherae’a Moore, Rep. Esthelda Parker Selby, and Sen. Darius J. Brown. Black Caucus Chair Rep. Kendra Johnson’s address during the ceremony included a recognition of Rep. Bolden for being the founder and founding chair of the GA’s Black Caucus.

In celebrating Delaware’s history and progress, Governor John Carney commended efforts taken by Delaware’s leaders to pass House Bill 198, legislation that requires each school district and charter school serving kindergarten through 12th graders to provide instruction on Black history as part of its educational programming.

“We celebrate Black History Month in February, but it shouldn’t be something that is just taught in the month of February, it should carry throughout the year,” Gov. Carney said. “The Delaware Department of Education’s Black History Education annual reports have shown progress.

Gov. Carney recognized the hard work by dedicated educators and administration in making House Bill 198 a reality in Delaware schools. “We are showing our students the complexities of our nation and celebrating monumental figures in our state’s history,” the Governor said.

During the ceremony, Ms. Washington presented the following address:

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m Imani Washington, a junior studying political science with a minor in financial planning from Harlem, New York. Currently, I serve as Delaware State’s University’s Corresponding Secretary for the Student Government Association under the Dream Administration.DSU's Imani Washington shared her thoughts on the importance of Black History Month

As we gather here today to celebrate Black History Month, I am honored to share with you what this commemoration means to me personally.

Black history is not merely a segment of the past or a chapter in a textbook. It is a living, breathing testament to the resilience, courage, and triumph of a people who have faced unimaginable adversity yet refused to be silenced.

For me, Black history is a tapestry woven with the stories of heroes and heroines who dared to dream, who fought for freedom and justice, and who paved the way for generations to come.

It is the story of Harriet Tubman, whose bravery and determination led countless enslaved individuals to freedom through the Underground Railroad.

It is the story of Rosa Parks, whose simple act of defiance on a bus in Montgomery sparked a movement that would change the course of history.

It is the story of Martin Luther King Jr., whose powerful words and unwavering commitment to nonviolence inspired millions to stand up against injustice and oppression.

But Black history is not just about the past—it is about the present and the future. It is about recognizing the contributions of Black trailblazers in every field, from science and technology to art and literature. It is about celebrating the diversity and richness of Black culture, from the rhythms of jazz and blues to the vibrant colors of African art.

As a young Black woman, Black history means knowing that I am part of a legacy of resilience and excellence. It means understanding that the struggles of my ancestors were not in vain, and that their sacrifices have paved the way for me to pursue my dreams and aspirations.

But Black history also reminds me that the fight for equality and justice is far from over. It challenges me to speak out against racism and discrimination in all its forms, and to work towards building a more inclusive and equitable society for future generations.

In conclusion, Black history is a celebration of the past, a reflection of the present, and a call to action for the future. It is a reminder that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and that we have a responsibility to honor their legacy by continuing the work of building a better world for all.

Thank you.