Darrick D. McGhee Sr.

Editor, The Beacon:

Since 1976, February has been a month dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the past and current achievements of Black Americans.

These achievements shaped the America that we know, and exist in various fields of study, including politics, science, engineering and mathematics. The courageous and selfless acts of many Black Americans have impacted every community across the United States.

Each Black History Month has a theme to bring the public’s attention to a central focus each year. The theme for 2022 is “Black Health and Wellness,” exploring the legacy of those who work in the medical and health fields, including birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc. It also highlights the activities and initiatives that Black communities have done to encourage good health and wellness, including physical, emotional and mental health.

The Sunshine State is home to many leaders and advocates who made great sacrifices and helped foster equality for all. The Florida Commission on Human Relations honors those individuals annually by hosting the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Furthermore, the commission dedicates itself to encouraging mutual respect and acceptance in communities through outreach and by investigating and resolving claims of discrimination throughout the state.

Each citizen plays a critical role in shaping the community, and all must continue to work together in building an environment free of discrimination, hate crimes and intolerance. Black History Month is not only about the names we read in textbooks. It is important to explore the vast influence many Black Americans have in our society.

Darrick D. McGhee Sr.

— McGhee is chair of the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

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