White House Event Celebrates Black History

Biden urges Congress to confirm Jackson, pass voting rights bills
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 28, 2022 7:13 PM CST
Biden Holds Event to Celebrate Black History
President Biden speaks Monday at a Black History Month event in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – President Biden welcomed Black leaders to the White House on Monday for a jovial Black History Month celebration, where he called on Congress to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court and pass voting rights bills. "I know progress can be slow and frustrating," Biden said. "But I also know what's possible if we work together, if we keep the faith, if we remember—changes and charges that are passed down to us." About 150 people gathered in the East Room, the AP reports. Members of Biden's Cabinet who are Black and other administration officials stood onstage as Biden called on each by name to express his gratitude.

Biden said he was happy to have the event in-person; the coronavirus outbreak prevented the event last year. He was joined by first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who said that the group was gathered at a time when America's democratic principles have come under threat as Ukraine is attacked by Russia. "Black History Month was established to teach the history that too often has not been taught—the history of black excellence and leadership in America," Harris said. "And we are clear: Black history is American history. It is living, breathing history.”

Biden was introduced by Cateo Hilton, a high schooler who mentors younger students in Washington and will attend Delaware State University—news that prompted a standing ovation from the president, who grew up in Delaware. The gathering including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, state and local elected officials, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

(Read more Black History Month stories.)

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