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African American History Month Final Wrap-Up

Updates on the events for Black History Month from guest chefs, Champions of Change, and the Rosa Parks Statue.

What a week—we marked the end of Black History Month with several receptions, policy briefings, a memorial dedication for Rosa Parks and a guest chef at the White House.

African American Healthcare Briefing
The White House Office of Public Engagement and the Department of Health & Human Services hosted a live town hall discussion on the ACA Affordable Care Act (ACA). The briefing was an interactive program with a two panel discussion and breakout session with members of African American health organizations and community leaders.

Black History Month Reception
Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and U.S. Representative John Lewis hosted a Black History Month reception at the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory on Wednesday. The guests included the Attorney General Eric Holder, Administrator Bolden, several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Civil Rights Leaders, and local elected officials from around the country. . Guests could also view the National Archives special exhibit at the Observatory, “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” about Rosa Parks.

Champions of Change: African American Educational Excellence
The White House Office of Public Engagement hosted a Champions of Change event honoring leaders who have advanced educational excellence for the African American community. The Champions of Change initiative honors ordinary people who do extraordinary acts in their communities, all across the country.  During the Champions of Change event, we recognized 10 individuals who have devoted their time and efforts to improve educational outcomes for African American students.

Guest chef in the White House Mess: B. Smith
To celebrate the culinary side of African American History Month, B. Smith, chef and owner of three restaurants in Washington DC and New York was guest chef in the White House Mess and an African American History Month reception in the East Room on Wednesday. She prepared some delicious comfort food favorites, such as black-eyed pea soup and bread pudding to the delight of White House staff and guests.

Catching Up with the Curator
The painting, completed in 1863 by William Carlton, shows a group of African American men, women and children waiting for the clock to strike midnight—the hour the Emancipation Proclamation would go into effect. Check it out, and learn why President Obama chose this painting to hang in the West Wing.

Rosa Parks has a Permanent Place in the U.S Capitol.
National Statuary Hall inside the U.S Capitol was once the meeting place of the House of     Representatives. Now it’s the home to a collection of statues and monuments—two form each state—representing some of the defining figures in our nation’s history. Yesterday, those sculptures were joined by that of a civil rights icon. One hundred years after she was born and 58 years after she refused to give up her seat on an Alabama city bus, Rosa Parks has a permanent place in the halls of Congress.