Depts. of Health, Public Welfare to Observe African American History Month at State Museum

HARRISBURG – In honor of the many contributions to society by African Americans, state Secretary of Health Dr. Calvin B. Johnson, and state Secretary of Public Welfare Estelle B. Richman today invited the public to join a celebration of African American History Month on Thursday, Feb. 22, in the State Museum auditorium in Harrisburg.

This year’s theme, “From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas,” focuses on the transition from slavery to freedom, which represents one of the major events in the history of African Americans. The event is free and open to the public.

“African American History Month allows everyone to recount the pride, passion, and history of African Americans,” Dr. Johnson said. “I encourage the general public to attend this worthwhile event that doesn’t just celebrate Black history, but also an important part of American history, in which all Pennsylvanians should be involved.”

”This celebration reminds us that there are lessons from the past that we cannot forget and from which we must continually learn,” said DPW Secretary Richman. “At the same time, African American History Month reminds us that Pennsylvania’s roots are established in countries around the world and that our commonwealth is blessed and enriched by an immensely diverse heritage.”

The keynote speaker for the event will be Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania President Dr. Keith B. Miller, who will discuss the role that education and increased educational opportunities have played in helping African Americans make the transition from slavery to freedom.

The program will also feature a variety of musical selections and performances from guest performers and staff from the departments of Health and Public Welfare, and a special exhibition highlighting education in the black community.

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