Black History Month

Black History Month: Cummings on Obama’s Biggest Contribution
Roll Call’s series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings arrives with other members of the House and Senate in front of the Supreme Court to voice opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings has spent more than two decades on Capitol Hill, representing Maryland’s 7th District. Now the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Cummings talked to Roll Call about what former President Barack Obama meant to the country, why Black History Month continues to matter and why he values having a diverse staff. 

Watch more interviews with other lawmakers and Hill figures, and the video “Black History and America’s Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month.  

Black History Month: Librarian of Congress on her Trailblazing Role
Roll Call’s series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues

Carla Hayden speaks during her swearing-in ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress last September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first African-American and first woman to hold the position of librarian of Congress says she is partly in her role thanks to the inspiration of Frederick Douglass. Carla Hayden, who was sworn in last year, discusses with Roll Call the significance of Black History Month, her own place in it and how African-American culture and history is integral to American culture and history. 

Watch more interviews and the video, “Black History and America’s Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month

Black History Month: Tim Scott on What His Election Meant, and What Obama's Election Meant to His Grandfather
Roll Call's series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott says he stands on the “shoulders of giants who paid such a high price so that I could represent … the entire state.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Tim Scott sees a lot of progress in his election and the election of the first African-American president more than eight years ago. Both show “what’s possible,” he said. 

Roll Call’s series of interviews with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures during Black History Month continues with our discussion with the South Carolina Republican.

Black History Month: Senate Chaplain Reflects on Rosa Parks and Being the First African-American in Role
Roll Call's series with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues this week

Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black, the first African-American to hold the post, is interviewed in the Capitol by Roll Call in January. (CQ Roll Call)

For Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black, this month is an “important reminder.” Roll Call’s series of interviews with lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures continues with a step away from politics during a sit-down with this nonpartisan fixture of the Senate — the first African-American to hold the role. 

Watch more interviews and the video, “Black History and America’s Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month. Black’s full discussion with Roll Call is below.

Democrats Back #LetLizSpeak Campaign
Warren's colleagues show they can use Twitter, too

Democrats like Schumer have joined in on Twitter’s #LetLizSpeak campaign to protest Republicans’ shutting down Warren’s speech about Sessions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are taking up the #LetLizSpeak Twitter campaign backing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her floor speech against attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions that Republicans cut off Tuesday night. 

Warren was reading a letter the late Coretta Scott King wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986 opposing Sessions’ confirmation to be a federal district court judge as well as quoting statements from the late Sen. Edward Kennedy from that time. King’s letter said, among other thing, “Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.”

Celebrating Black History Month With Added Resonance
Obama retirement, record number of black lawmakers mark 2017

Former President Barack Obama's departure from the East Front of the Capitol on Jan. 20 was a bittersweet moment for African-American members of Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Black History Month this year has taken on an added resonance, reflected in the record number of African-Americans in Congress.

In the Senate, it has been a long buildup to the current high-water mark of three members: Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina and Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. 

Black History and America’s Capitol
 

This February, Black History Month marks its 41st year as a monthlong tradition. Explore the history of this reflective and celebratory time with lawmakers and other Capitol Hill figures who discuss the intersection of black history and the U.S. Capitol building and its surrounding city.

Black History Month: Cedric Richmond on the ‘Work to Do’ Ahead
CBC chairman says promises of King, Chisholm haven’t yet been fulfilled

Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond speaks with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker after the two, along with Georgia Rep. John Lewis, testified last month against the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general on the grounds of his civil rights history. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric L. Richmond, this month is about teaching. First celebrated in 1926 as a weeklong tribute to black history and culture and expanded to a monthlong honor in 1976, Black History Month is a time of reflection and festivity for many African-Americans. Roll Call interviewed Richmond and several other lawmakers and Capitol Hill figures, such as Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black, to find out what the intersection of black history and life in Congress and the Capitol building itself means to them.

Watch interviews and the video, “Black History and America's Capitol,” which combines all these talks, at rollcall.com/black-history-month. Richmond’s full discussion with Roll Call is below.

Black History Month Lessons for ‘Trump World’
Fight for equality continues to be a few steps forward followed by pushback

Despite the success of “Hidden Figures,” we are still far from a time when people of color and women play more than token roles in the telling of the nation’s history, Curtis writes. (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

Every year, when February rolls around, you hear the same questions: Why do we need a Black History Month? When is White History Month? (The answer to that second question is January through December, by the way.)

For the answer to the first, look no further than the movie that just picked up the top award from the Screen Actors Guild. “Hidden Figures” is about the African-American female mathematicians who helped propel the U.S. space program, and who were mostly left out of the history books and previous film accounts of NASA and the talents who made it soar. (John Glenn wouldn’t leave home without their trajectory equations.)