The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

NOW Press Team;, (202) 628-8669

Why We Celebrate Black History Month--And What We Still Need To Learn

Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt and Christian Nunes, Chairwoman of the Racial Justice Committee


Every February, we observe Black History Month as a way of celebrating, honoring and absorbing the lessons of the African Americans who have contributed so much to our culture, our communities and our nation. This year, we are witnessing a transformation in our politics, with more women of color running for office, getting elected and making a difference than ever before.

While Donald Trump and his overwhelmingly white, male Administration wage a mean-spirited, discriminatory and racially divisive campaign to undermine civil rights protections, we need to remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King said, "We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there 'is' such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action."

Black History Month reminds us of the "fierce urgency of now." That's always been the watchword of the National Organization for Women. As part of NOW's core principles, we see human rights as indivisible, and we will continue to stand in solidarity and follow the lead of African Americans across the country, working together to overcome the barriers to justice and equality that have been imposed by racism.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.