During this year's Black History Month, the NRCC has highlighted some of the organizations’ notable African American employees and carpenters on the job site, who go above and beyond to advance the rights of ALL workers. These individuals consistently provide leadership, elevate the trade and continue to strengthen workers’ rights. In addition, we are also spotlighting African Americans from history that have played key roles in defining the civil and workers' rights for our society today.
Why We Celebrate Black History Month
Black History Month is celebrated annually during the month of February in America and in countries around the world.
In 1976, during the United States Bicentennial celebrations, President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month and urged all Americans to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” The first full month of recognition took place at Kent State University in 1970 as a result of the efforts of a united group of African American students enrolled in the University.
The mid to late 1960’s were very turbulent and trying for America and there were a number of historical highlights that preceded the call for Black History Month, including:
- Assassinations of Malcolm X, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other leaders
- Many race riots in urban America
- Vietnam war
- Anti-war protests
- Passing of Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Resistance to equal opportunity for all Americans
- 1964 Declaration of War on Poverty by President Johnson
- Return of many soldiers with mental, social, medical, and economic instability
Now, in the 21st century, during this time of political divisiveness and the full-on attack on unions and the rights of all workers, the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters is working to secure strong worker protections and rights for all of our fellow brother and sisters in the workplace.
Now, it is more important than ever for us to create opportunities for members to share their personal stories, to highlight and celebrate the beauty of our differences and raise awareness about issues that weaken the labor movement and our civilized society.
Together we succeed; divided we fall.