Dear Editor,

Each February, people all across the United States join together in remembering the full and diverse history of African-Americans as we acclaim Black History Month. The triumphs and accomplishments of African-Americans touch every community and are found in every field of endeavor, including science, technology, education, literature, health, entertainment, and social work. Black History Month is a time to reflect and reminisce upon the sacrifices and hard work of those individuals who helped advocate for and build a better and more tolerant life, both present and future, for all of us.


As we acknowledge the many African-American men and women who have helped the United States grow culturally, countless civil rights pioneers in Florida have been equally as important and should be revered as agents of change here at home.


Since 2012, the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame, administered by the Florida Commission on Human Relations, has honored Floridians who made great sacrifices and helped foster equality for all in our state. Pioneering educator Mary McLeod Bethune, civil rights leaders C.K. Steele and Harry T. and Harriette Moore, are among the many who have been recognized for their unyielding commitment to equality, diversity and human dignity.


Last year, Governor Rick Scott selected a new class of inductees for the 2017 Hall of Fame: Dr. Marvin Davies, John Dorsey Due and Dr. Rev. Willie Oliver Wells. Each of whom were chosen for their commitment to advocating for equality and justice throughout Florida, and for making agreat impact on the civil rights movement here in our state.


Today, African-Americans continue to honor those who have gone before them, as they celebrate their accomplishments and build upon the legacy left behind. Black History Month gives all of us the opportunity to recognize and shine a light on the many ways African-Americans have enriched Florida's communities, culture and history. I hope your readers will take time this month to acknowledge the many accomplishments these noted men and women made for our state and our country.


Commissioner Latanya Peterson, Vice Chair

Florida Commission on Human Relations