“Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time for all New Yorkers to reflect on the many contributions of the Black community and the ongoing struggle for equity. As we recognize and celebrate the vital role New York has played in Black history, from the Harlem Renaissance to the Niagara Movement, we must also recommit ourselves to the fight for racial justice – both in New York and across the nation.
“The theme of this year’s national observance, ‘Black Health and Wellness,’ demands we face the fact that the racism and discrimination faced by Black Americans is especially pronounced when it comes to issues of public health. As New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to vigorously pursue a course of action that will reduce or eliminate health disparities adversely affecting Black New Yorkers, so that everyone – regardless of racial or ethnic background – has access to the services they need to be healthy.
“As we work to expand our State’s promise, it is essential that we take the time to honor the legacies and achievements of the generations of Black New Yorkers like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth who have done the hard work that we must continue to pursue – toward a more just and equitable future for all.