Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Descendants of civil rights icons unite at the White House for a historic Black History Month gathering

By 37ci3 Feb13,2024



Vice President Kamala Harris addressed a generation of the most prominent Civil Rights leaders and other key historical figures of the 1950s and 60s who gathered at the White House on Tuesday, some in the same room for the first time.

The families of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Emmett Till, and Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, among others, were scheduled to attend.

Harris praised a generation of “extraordinary American heroes” who embodied the promises of the nation and the Constitution.

“They passed the baton to us,” Harris said Tuesday.

White House Office of Public Affairs Director Stephen K. Benjamin Harris followed the administration’s initiatives, including: police responsibility and Joe Biden signs the law Making June a federal holiday.

Generations, as the group calls itself, will honor family legacies while celebrating Black History Month hosted by the Biden-Harris administration.

Joshua Cordison, one of the behind-the-scenes coordinators for The Descendants, said that discussions to bring the group together began several years ago.

“It was amazing how many of them had never met,” he said.

Invitations were sent to other prominent families, although some were unable to attend due to scheduling and other factors, organizers said.

Kenneth B. Morris Jr., a descendant of Frederick Douglass and his first wife, said, “The Descendants, who carry the weight of history from their ancestors, have a unique ability to lead our nation in a much-needed spirit of cooperation and community.” , Anna Murray Douglass told NBC News.

“This historic event marks the beginning of the coming together of Generation families and like-minded leaders and organizations to catalyze transformative positive social change among the most pressing challenges facing our country,” Morris said.

Morris is also a descendant of Booker T. Washington, whose families intermarried in the 1940s.

Through the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, a nonprofit organization he co-founded, the work of Morris and his mother, Nettie Washington Douglas, focused on anti-racism and human rights. But he emphasized that although he helped in organizing the meeting, it is not about one person or family. “This is equal cooperation. We all come together,” he said.

Ernestine “Tina” Martin Wyatt is Harriet Tubman’s great-great-grandmother. The Washington, D.C. resident hosts the district’s annual Harriet Tubman Day celebration to raise awareness of the contributions of her famous ancestor. He said he was “thrilled” to meet the descendants of his fellow freedom fighters.

About 100 more guests are expected to attend. Morris is among those expected to speak at the White House reception, along with several members of the Congressional Black Caucus and administration officials.

In addition to the official meeting, a number of events for descendants families will be held in the district on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Their itinerary is expected to include stops at the US Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the Supreme Court, and a tour of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as opportunities for dinner and panel discussion.

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By 37ci3

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