[Congressional Record Volume 144, Number 10 (Wednesday, February 11, 1998)]
[Pages H414-H428]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 7, 1997, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stokes) is recognized for 
60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to reserve 
this special order this evening. I would also like to thank my 
colleagues who are gathered in the Chamber with me. We take special 
pride in coming together for the 1998 Congressional observance of Black 
History Month.
  Since 1976 when Congress adopted the resolution designating February 
of each year as Black History Month, we have utilized this opportunity 
to highlight and pay tribute to the notable accomplishments of black 
men and women who helped to build our great Nation.
  From Garrett Morgan's invention of the traffic signal, to Mary McLeod 
Bethune's founding of a university on $1.50, black men and women have 
made enormous contributions to the development of this country.
  With this in mind, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus 
proudly take this time to share with our colleagues and with the world 
black history, our history.
  As we move forward with our special order, I want to commend the 
chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus, the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Waters) for her unfailing leadership of this 
organization. Her strong leadership guarantees that the Congressional 
Black Caucus will continue to be a tireless advocate on behalf of 
minorities, the poor and the disadvantaged of this Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, the theme for the 1998 observance of Black History Month 
is ``African Americans in business: The path towards empowerment.'' The 
theme is particularly significant as we pause to review our history and 
highlight some of our accomplishments in the business arena.
  In the field of business, it is important to note that some free 
black Americans managed and owned small businesses during the period of 
slavery. For example, Fraunces Tavern was a well-known dining place and 
tavern popular in New York City during the latter half of the 18th 
century. It was owned and operated by Samuel Fraunces, a migrant from 
the British West Indies. Both British and American troops patronized 
the tavern, and George Washington came there to draw up terms with the 
British regarding their evacuation of New York in the 1770's.
  Paul Cuffe, a free black man, was a shipper and merchant in New 
England in the 1790's. James Wormley was a well-known hotel proprietor 
in Washington D.C. in the 1820's.
  After gaining their freedom from slavery, many black Americans set up 
businesses that rendered personal services to blacks who were the 
victims of discrimination and segregation imposed by white businesses.
  For example, barbering was a source of both black employment and 
business. Two of the earliest fortunes among black Americans were made 
by Annie T. Malone and Madame C.J. Walker in the manufacture and 
marketing of hair products for black Americans. Funeral services were 
another personal service business almost exclusively under black 
ownership and control.
  As we celebrate the success of African American businesses, we mark 
the founding in 1888 of the True Reformers Bank of Richmond, Virginia, 
and the Capital Savings Bank of Washington, D.C., the first black-
created and black-run banks in America. We also mark the historic 
achievements of Maggie Lena Walker, who, in 1903, became the first 
black woman to be a bank president. She founded the Saint Luck Penny 
Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia.
  Mr. Speaker, in another field of business, the African Insurance 
Company of Philadelphia was the first known black insurance company, 
founded in 1810. It was not incorporated, but had capital stock in the 
amount of $5,000. The North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, founded 
in 1893 in Durham, North Carolina was the first black insurance company 
to attain $1 million in assets.
  In celebration of Black History Month, we note the achievements of D. 
Watson Onley, a black businessman, who in 1885 built the first steam 
saw and planing mill owned and operated entirely by blacks. We also 
recognize the contributions of Ruth J. Bowen, the first black woman to 
establish a successful booking and talent agency. Bowen began her 
business in New York in 1959 with a $500 investment. Within 10 years, 
her firm became the largest black-owned agency in the world.
  Mr. Speaker, I will at this time recognize a number of my colleagues 
gathered here in the Chamber.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York, Mr. Engel.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stokes) 
for having this special order.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate Black History Month. Although I 
have only a few minutes to honor hundreds of years of struggles and 
achievements of black Americans, I must share my feelings of how much 
the African American community has added to our country.
  In 1782, Thomas Jefferson, a slave holder himself declared that ``the 
whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the 
most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on one part, 
and degrading submission on the other.''
  A Founding Father to whom our Nation looked for moral guidance, his 
hypocrisy only underscored the terror our Nation was inflicting on 
generations of African Americans at that time.
  Yet, even with slavery placing in bondage hundreds of thousands of 
Africans, some black Americans had already begun to make their mark. 
For instance, 200 years ago, in 1798, James Forten, Sr., established 
the first major black-owned sail-making shop in Philadelphia, achieving 
a net worth of more than $100,000, a massive sum at the time. Forten 
went on to become a leader of the abolitionist movement and the 
organizer of the Antislavery Society in 1833.
  The heights of Forten's achievements only remind us what our country 
lost due to the depths of slavery and subsequent years of oppression. 
This country at one time erected every conceivable legal, societal and 
cultural roadblock to prevent African Americans from getting an 
education, wealth and power from our society.
  As we commemorate Black History Month, the people of the United 
States must recognize what injustices were perpetrated through the 
years. We must recognize that our society still suffers the results of 
the oppression of African Americans.
  It has only been within the last half century that our country has 
made real progress to guaranteeing to black Americans the basic civil 
rights that other citizens have for so long taken for granted. Within 
that time, America has only begun to see the tip of the iceberg, the 
tremendous potential of this community. It is only during this period 
that we have come to realize the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin 
Luther King, Jr., that ``Children will one day live in a nation where 
they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the contents 
of their character.''
  As a Jewish American, Mr. Speaker, I believe I share a sense of 
understanding with African Americans. Not only do our two communities 
face a history filled with severe cruelty and discrimination, but we 
also fought together for decades to overcome bigotry in this country.
  When I commemorate Black History Month, I am reminded of a civil 
rights movement where Jewish Americans and black Americans stood 
shoulder to shoulder to fight racial prejudice.

[[Page H415]]

  Today black Americans, more and more, are represented in leadership 
positions in our society, from black members of the President's 
Cabinet, to educators, athletes, scientists and members of the clergy, 
African Americans of today have begun to take their rightful positions 
in the United States, and our country as a whole has benefitted.
  As we celebrate Black History Month, we must never forget the 
injustices inflicted upon African Americans through the years. We honor 
those who suffered by recalling the circumstances through which they 
lived. At the same time, we must recognize that our Nation has finally 
begun to unlock the great untapped potential of the black community.

                              {time}  1945

  It is my hope that when we celebrate Black History Month in the 
future, circumstances facing black Americans will continue to improve, 
and that someday we will achieve true freedom and equality for all 
citizens of this great Nation. If we recognize what happened in the 
past, it will help us to build a better future for all of our citizens.
  I very much feel very close to Black History Month, having been born 
in the month of February, and I think it is very, very important that 
all of us in the Congress pause and reflect, because until, as we say, 
all of our citizens are free, all of us are not really totally free.
  So I thank my colleague from Ohio (Mr. Stokes) for this 
commemoration, and I think it is very, very fitting that this Congress 
commemorate Black History Month.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank my distinguished friend from New 
York, (Mr. Engel), for his comments.
  At this time I yield to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis).
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for yielding.
  I rise to join with my colleagues and to share with them and with 
America our appreciation for the contributions made to African 
Americans in the history and development of this Nation.
  This year's theme, African Americans in Business: The Path Toward 
Empowerment, is the most appropriate one, and I am pleased to have in 
my own congressional district some of the most well-known and 
productive businesses in America.
  I represent Harpo Studios, which is owned by Oprah Winfrey and is 
known all over the world. In my congressional district is the First 
Baptist Congregational Church, which was a stop on the underground 
railroad, and is now building houses and a community under the 
leadership of its pastor, Dr. Authur Griffin.
  I have in my district the Johnson Publishing Company, which was put 
together and developed by Mr. John H. and Mrs. Eunice Johnson and is 
now operated by their daughter, Mrs. Linda Johnson Rice, and is home to 
many great writers like Lerone Bennett and Alex Poinsett. In my 
district I have the Parker House Sausage Company and its esteemed 
president, Mr. Daryl Grisham. It is also my pleasure to represent and 
to use Rabon's High-Tech Automotive Center at Kostner and Roosevelt 
Road in Chicago, which is known and owned by Mr. Lee Rabon, and is 
known for its precision automotive work.
  I also represent Shine King, the best shoe shine shop in America, 
owned by Mr. James Cole who has parlayed his original shoe shine shop 
into two shops, part ownership of a bank, a construction company, King 
Construction, and vast real estate holdings. Mr. Cole's shine boys are 
known to earn between $400 and $500 a week, shining shoes. Many of them 
have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, policemen, school teachers and 
businesspersons in their own right. The most famous of this group is 
the renowned National Basketball Association star and businessperson, 
Isiah Thomas, or Zeke, as he was known around the shop and throughout 
the NBA. Mr. Cole was recently featured in the Chicago Sun Times and 
WGN Channel 9 television as a result of the work that he has done 
through his businesses with young boys growing up in his community.
  I also pay tribute, Mr. Speaker, to the many members of the public 
housing community in my district, Ms. Martha Marshall, Shirley 
Hammonds, Cora Moore, Mattie McCoy, Mamie Bone, Mary Baldwin, and 
Mildred Dennis, for the outstanding leadership they are providing as 
they manage the recently developed businesses that public housing 
residents in the city of Chicago are putting together, managing, 
owning, and carrying out the duties and responsibilities of 
redeveloping their own communities. So they are a part of this great 
legacy that we know as African-American history.
  I commend the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stokes) of this event for the 
leadership that he has displayed throughout the years, but in taking 
out this Special Order, and pay tribute to the leader of the 
Congressional Black Caucus, the erstwhile gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Waters). As a result of her leadership, the gentleman's 
leadership, the work of people all over America, the legacy and the 
history will continue.
  I thank the gentleman.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his kind remarks 
and his eloquent statement.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the distinguished gentlewoman from Oregon 
(Ms. Furse).
  Ms. FURSE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for taking out this 
hour. As the gentleman said in the beginning, this is an hour to honor 
the contribution of black leaders across the world. I would like to pay 
tribute to some great South African black leaders whose names I believe 
should be part of our history books, who the gentleman, through his 
work and the work of the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters) and 
the gentleman from California, (Mr. Dellums) these people have brought 
the possibilities of the freedoms that occurred.
  I would like to remind of us Chief Albert Lithuli. He received the 
Noble Peace Prize, but he was not allowed to travel to Sweden to 
collect that prize, because the apartheid government of South Africa 
refused to allow him to do that, but Chief Lithuli is remembered in 
South Africa as such a great leader.
  Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Desmond Tutu shown the light of religion on 
the horrors of apartheid. He made those who said that they were 
Christian look clearly at what was happening in South Africa in the 
South African apartheid policy.
  Deputy Premier Tabo MBeke. Taboo MBeke spent decades in exile from 
his homeland because he could not live in any kind of safety in South 
Africa. He is now the deputy premier of South Africa. His father, Mr. 
MBeke, Senior, Mr. MBeke was in the dreadful prison that Nelson Mandela 
spent so many years. Madam Speaker, Together they studied and they kept 
the faith of the South Africa to-be.
  Oliver Jhambo, the ANC leader who traveled tirelessly around the 
world to light the fire in the world that we needed all of us to be 
involved in the struggle of South Africa.
  Then of course the great premier of South Africa, President Nelson 
Mandela. President Mandela spent 29 years in a dreadful prison in South 
Africa and he never, ever lost sight of the goal, that goal which was 
realized in 1994 on a sunlit day in Pretoria, South Africa, where 
President Mandela became the first President of a truly multiracial 
government in South Africa, the first premier, without violence, who 
led his country to democracy.
  I believe, Mr. Speaker, that this history, this history of those 
great African leaders should join the proud list of African-American 
leaders who together have so shaped our common history. We are all in 
this world so lucky indeed to have had such mentors in our lifetime. I 
thank the gentleman for this opportunity to speak about those great 
South African leaders.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for her 
participation in this Special Order.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the distinguished gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Berry).
  Mr. BERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to three Arkansans who have 
made a difference in their community: Arkansas State Representative Joe 
Harris, Jr., Mr. Terry Woodard, and Mr. Fredrick Freeman. They are 
three African Americans who have worked to make a difference in their 
communities and in our State and in my congressional district. They are 
people who

[[Page H416]]

have risen to the challenges handed them.
  They grew up in the Arkansas Mississippi River delta, one of the 
poorest regions in the country. Not only did they withstand adversity, 
but they have decided to remain in the delta to make it a better place 
to live and work and raise a family.
  State Representative Joe Harris is a lifelong resident of Mississippi 
County, Arkansas, which he now represents in the State legislature. He 
is also the founder and owner of a successful business, Joe Harris Jr. 
Trucking and Demolition Company. He has worked for the community by 
serving on boards and commissions, by chairing the Board of Deacons of 
the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, and participating in Chamber 
of Commerce work.
  Terry Woodard is another African-American leader in Arkansas' First 
Congressional District who is a successful businessman and makes 
significant contributions to his community. He is a tireless worker for 
the betterment of the community in which he lives. He is the president 
of Woodard Brothers Funeral Services in Wynne, Arkansas, and currently 
serves as chairman of the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association.
  Fredrick Freeman is a native of Forrest City, Arkansas, where he 
still resides. Since graduating from North Carolina A&T State 
University with a degree in business and finance management in 1981 and 
returning to Arkansas, he has started and successfully managed two 
family owned businesses. He focuses much of his time on community and 
business development. He serves as a member of the State of Arkansas 
Aviation and Aerospace Commission, as chairman of the St. Francis 
County Workforce Alliance, president of the Arkansas Democratic Black 
Caucus, and is active in his local NAACP chapter.
  These are the kinds of community leaders the First District of 
Arkansas and communities across the Nation should feel very fortunate 
to have. They are people who grew up economically deprived in 
economically deprived areas. They got the education they needed, and 
they have worked hard and played by the rules.
  Mr. Speaker, the African-American businessmen I have mentioned 
deserve to be commended for the service they have given to their 
communities. It is important that as this Congress addresses the needs 
of public education and community assistance we make decisions to 
empower a new generation of leaders for all constituencies. It is a 
privilege for me today to pay honor to these leaders in the First 
Congressional District of Arkansas and say thanks to them for the great 
contribution they have made.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Arkansas for his 
participation in this Special Order.
  Mr. Speaker, I now yield to the distinguished gentlewoman from 
Florida (Mrs. Meek).
  Mrs. MEEK of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman, my esteemed 
colleague, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stokes), for having the insight 
to organize today's Black History special.
  Certainly, the history of the people of African descent is interwoven 
with the history of America. The theme of African Americans in 
Business: The Path Toward Empowerment, is particularly significant. 
Since African Americans have been on American soil since 1619, black 
Americans have played an important part in the development of this 
great Nation. We helped to build this Nation. We helped to fight for 
America, and we helped America to gain its independence. We helped to 
build this country's thriving cities and farmed its fields and settled 
the West.

                              {time}  2000

  As we celebrate Black History Month, I am mindful of this month's 
theme again, ``Black Americans in Business.'' And I can think of many 
that have been mentioned, like Madame C.J. Walker, Percy Sutton, John 
Johnson, Robert Johnson, and Cathy Hughes.
  And then I cannot forget that blacks have owned and managed 
businesses since slavery. In the 1770s, Samuel Fraunces was a 
successful tavern owner in New York.
  During this period, many blacks also owned well-to-do barber and 
beauty shops and dry goods stores. After slavery, blacks began to 
acquire more property and capital, and increasing numbers began to set 
up businesses. Two of the earliest of those were Annie Malone and Madam 
C.J. Walker.
  Funeral services was one area where blacks had a significant number 
of businesses and other personal services. Blacks have ventured into 
other forays. Maggie Lena Walker became the first black woman in 1903 
to become a bank president. She founded the Saint Luke Penny Savings 
Bank in Richmond, Virginia, and the bank became so very strong that it 
survived the Depression.
  Mrs. Walker's bank was by no means the first black-owned bank. That 
distinction belongs to the True Reformers Bank of Richmond, Virginia.
  Mr. Speaker, I cannot overlook the North Carolina Mutual Life 
Insurance Company founded in 1893 in Durham. In 1789, James Forten, 
Sr., established the first major black-owned sailmaking shop. We could 
go on and on talking about the good highlights of black Americans who 
have distinguished themselves in the area of business.
  There is a growing crowd of black men and women who have taken their 
seats at the tables of business power here in America. People like 
American Express President Kenneth Chenault; Maytag President Lloyd 
Ward; Richard Parsons, President of Time Warner; Toni Fay, Vice 
President at Time Warner; Elliott Hall, Vice President of Ford Motor 
Company; and Ben Ruffin, Vice President at Philip Morris.
  They are well-educated, highly motivated and strong-willed business 
leaders who have raised the glass ceiling beyond any level that their 
parents dared imagine. They are sharp and unapologetic. They are 
influencing hiring and promotion at their companies. They are gaining 
access to capital and creating unprecedented partnerships with large 
companies. In short, they are obliterating the myth that blacks cannot 
prosper at the highest level of industry.
  Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stokes), our 
wonderful chairperson of this event tonight, as more blacks experience 
corporate success, more and more are expanding and creating their own 
businesses as well. Between 1987 and 1992, the number of black-owned 
businesses rose 46 percent compared to the 26 percent increase in U.S. 
business overall.
  As we honor the legacy of achievement of blacks in business today, I, 
for one, am comforted to know that history is still being made by a new 
generation of blacks in business for themselves and at the highest 
levels of some of our Nation's largest corporations.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for giving this time to help 
America understand the significant contributions of African Americans.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentlewoman from 
Florida for her statement and her participation in this special order.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield to the distinguished gentlewoman 
from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Ohio for 
organizing tonight's special order to commemorate Black History Month. 
I have been privileged to serve with the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Stokes) on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and 
Education of the Committee on Appropriations, and I would like to say 
what an honor it has been to work with him and that he will be truly 
missed in this body. This country is a better place for his having 
served in this body.
  Black History Month is a time for us to join together to salute the 
accomplishments of African-American men and women who have contributed 
so much to make our Nation strong. I would like to take this 
opportunity to remember some of the key events that took place in my 
home State of Connecticut.
  I guess I must deviate just a bit from the specific topic of 
businesspeople, but I think that New Haven, Connecticut, has a specific 
historical fact that it is important, I think, for people to understand 
about the city. And I think there are so many young people in the City 
of New Haven who do not realize the history of African Americans in 
this city.

[[Page H417]]

  These young people do not realize that their city was an important 
station on the underground railroad. In fact, the Varick AME Episcopal 
Church and Dixwell Avenue Unitarian Church of Christ were both way-
stations for escaped slaves traveling through New Haven toward freedom 
in the North.
  New Haven found itself in the center of the dispute between the 
forces supporting slavery and those working for freedom when the 
Amistad ship arrived in Long Island Sound in the summer of 1839. The 
Amistad has become a household word, thanks to a blockbuster movie this 
year, and we are grateful to Steven Spielberg for making such a movie. 
But before the movie, very few people knew about this event, even 
people living in the City of New Haven, where much of the action 
  After the Amistad was captured in Long Island Sound, the Africans on 
the ship, led by Sengbe Pieh, were put in a New Haven jail while a 
court battle was waged to determine whether they would be slaves or 
free men and women. The dispute forced the country to confront the 
moral, social, political and religious questions that were surrounding 
  Many members of the New Haven community pulled together to work for 
the freedom of the Africans, including the congregation of the Center 
Church on Temple Street and students and faculty from the Yale 
University Divinity School. Finally, in February of 1841, the Africans, 
who were defended by former President John Quincy Adams, were declared 
free by the United States Supreme Court.
  Today there are several memorials in New Haven commemorating the 
Amistad and the story of the brave Africans who fought for their 
liberty on its decks. A statue of Sengbe Pieh, who was also known as 
Joseph Cinque, sits in front of the city hall in New Haven, and I was 
there for the dedication, along with our sister city from Sierra Leone. 
Plans are under way for a life-size working replica of the ship to be 
docked on Long Wharf with exhibitions and programs on African-American 
history and the long fight for true freedom.
  This is a month that gives us the opportunity to remember these 
events and the people behind them. Unfortunately, in our lives, we 
compartmentalize and we have a month where we talk with these things. 
It ought to be the topic of conversation and discussion and just woven 
into our everyday lives. But we are grateful that we have a time to 
single out the opportunity for the conversations, where we remember 
people with the courage to stand up and fight against tyranny and 
oppression, and we also have the opportunity to talk about those who 
have been such a tremendous success in business and academics and the 
arts and all the parts of our society.

  Mr. Speaker, America is strong because we have been successful at 
molding our different backgrounds into a strong Nation. We are a 
diverse, tolerant and constantly changing country that has been 
enriched by our differences. We celebrate our rich history, not just in 
Black History Month, but throughout the year.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Ohio for organizing this 
event tonight.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Connecticut for 
both her eloquent statement and her participation in this special 
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield to the distinguished gentlewoman 
from North Carolina (Mrs. Clayton).
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Speaker, I join my colleagues in commending the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stokes) for doing this annually and for his 
leadership. This hour gives us an opportunity to put in the Record some 
reflection and attributes of black history. This month as a whole gives 
the Nation an opportunity to reflect, but also gives an opportunity to 
assess what is going on.
  Mr. Speaker, last night I attended an event at which Vice President 
Al Gore and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, 
Aida Alvarez, announced a new major initiative aimed at increasing loan 
approvals to minority entrepreneurs.
  The announcement of this initiative is most appropriate as we pause 
to celebrate Black History Month. I was particularly struck by the Vice 
President's remarks as he discussed the historical debate between the 
value of political power as compared to economic power. The Vice 
President recognized that this debate has spanned the years past and 
acknowledged that it would likely continue into the years ahead. We 
actually need both economic development and political power if we, as a 
community, are to sustain a quality of life.
  Whatever the view one may hold on this issue, it cannot be denied 
that the initiative announced last night, once implemented, would 
benefit the black community and, in particular, the black businesses in 
ways that would be felt into the future.
  This lending assistance and marketing campaign is designed to support 
blacks who are interested in starting or expanding their own small 
businesses. Under the campaign over the next 3 years, SBA plans to more 
than double its annual level of loan guarantees now provided to blacks.
  In the fiscal year 1997, SBA provided 1,903 guaranteed loans valued 
at $286 million. Those funds were provided to black entrepreneurs from 
the 7(a) and the 504 lending program.
  By fiscal year 2000, SBA expects the annual loan guarantees to black 
businesses to reach 3,900 with an estimated value of $588 million from 
these 2 programs. And for the next 3 years combined, SBA expects to 
provide some 9,300 loan guarantees with an estimated value of $1.4 
  Mr. Speaker, the impact of this kind of infusion of capital into 
black enterprise is inestimable. But the true brilliance of this 
initiative rests with the fact that the SBA has enlisted a number of 
prominent black American groups to assist in facilitating this process 
to make sure that these loan guarantees are known and indeed get out to 
those entrepreneurs who may need them.
  Those groups include the National Urban League, the National Black 
Chamber of Commerce, the National Council of Negro Women, the Minority 
Business Enterprise, the National Legal Defense and Education Fund, the 
Organization for a New Equality and the Phelps Stokes Fund.
  The initiative represents an important and significant step forward. 
We are indeed making progress. In recent years, the number of black-
owned businesses grew by nearly 50 percent from 424,000 to almost 
621,000 new businesses, according to the Census Bureau. But at the same 
time, the average black firm generates an annual income of less than 
$52,000 while the average small business annual income is $193,000, 
some $141,000 more each year.
  We are progressing, however. But yet we have a long way to go. This 
is a journey we must make.
  America's 200 million small businesses employ more than half of the 
private work force. But that is not all. America's small businesses 
generate more than half of the Nation's gross domestic product and are 
the principal source of the new jobs in the United States economy and 
the reason that we are enjoying prosperity today.
  But in the end, Mr. Speaker, this new initiative will work best if 
entrepreneurs who take advantage of it have the same daring and 
pioneering spirit as the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, 
which is in my State, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. North 
Carolina Mutual, with determination and hard work, has become one of 
the Nation's largest insurance companies and the largest black-managed 
insurance company in the world.
  Since its founding in 1898, just a few years after the doctrine of 
``Separate but Equal'' was pronounced, North Carolina Mutual has been 
the symbol of progress and a symbol of success and entrepreneurial 
achievement, of leadership and economic vitality and the strength of 
the black community.
  North Carolina Mutual has achieved this triumph despite overwhelming 
and seemingly insurmountable odds. Today, with assets over $228 million 
and insurance in force of over $9 billion, it ranks among the top 10 
percent of the Nation's life insurers. North Carolina Mutual has 
offices in 11 States and the District of Columbia and is licensed to 
operate in 21 States and the District of Columbia.
  It is fitting, Mr. Speaker, that the company has its headquarters 
atop the highest hill in Durham, because indeed it is at the top of its 
industry. Poised for the 21st century and all the promise

[[Page H418]]

that it holds, North Carolina Mutual deserves our respect, our notice, 
our appreciation, our admiration and our thanks for their leadership.
  With this new initiative SBA is doing, we can only be hopeful that 
there will be many, many more North Carolina Mutuals in the future 
being multimillion dollar firms being run and managed by African 

                              {time}  2015

  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from North Carolina 
for her participation in this special order. It is a pleasure to have 
her participate.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the distinguished gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. 
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman very 
much for his leadership on this very special order and tribute to black 
history and appreciate very much my colleagues who have come to the 
floor of the House to acknowledge this very special month. By their 
presence, I glean from their words that although we have this month to 
commemorate black history, the contributions of black Americans are so 
very important as it relates to the history of this Nation. The 
Preamble to the Constitution of this great Nation aptly begins, ``We 
the people.''
  As I take my place on the floor of the House of Representatives to 
pay tribute to African Americans, I am reminded of the fact that those 
who first took their place in this very spot did not include me nor my 
people and their vision of ``We the people.''
  To ``secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity'' 
is one of the basic reasons that the Constitution was ``ordained'' and 
``established.'' These are basic tenets of freedom. This portion of the 
Preamble to the Constitution reminds us of the economic empowerment 
that surrounded the push towards the establishment of this great 
country. That is why it is so apropos that we celebrate African 
Americans in business, the path towards empowerment. There is no doubt 
that African Americans and Black History Month are one and the same. 
They recognize the importance of providing the pathway for evidencing 
what we have done for this country. African Americans have made unique 
contributions to the significant scientific and technological 
advancement of this country and to the growth and popularity of 
American culture around the world. Many of the modern conveniences that 
we enjoy today were invented by African Americans. Where would we be 
without the stop light invented by Garrett Morgan; the incandescent 
light bulb invented by Lewis Latimer; Dr. Charles Drew, a pioneer in 
blood research who established the first blood bank; and George 
Washington Carver, who so often we found as youngsters enjoyment in 
studying, maybe one of the few African Americans that our teachers 
allowed us to know? He revolutionized the agricultural economy of the 
South with his novel ideas on crop rotation.
  Today African American scientists and astronauts are expanding our 
knowledge of space. How many of us know the names of these African 
American astronauts who have led the way for our country to be the 
leader in space exploration and space-based science? Major Lawrence, 
the first African American astronaut, Ron McNair, Guion Bluford, first 
African American to actually fly in space and Ron McNair who lost his 
life in the tragic Challenger accident, General Fred Geory, Charles 
Bolan, Mai Jaimson, first African American woman in space, Robert 
Curbeam, Winston Scott, Evon Cagle, Joan Higginbotham, Stephanie 
Wilson, Bernard Harris and Mike Anderson, an African American astronaut 
who flew in January on the last mission of the space shuttle Endeavor 
to Mir.
  The economic benefits gained from the work of these African Americans 
has proved monumental. Our path towards economic empowerment has forged 
its way even through the hard times. And yes, even our African American 
farmers, our small businesses and large businesses to pay tribute to. 
For it was after slavery when we were told that we would receive 40 
acres and a mule. I am sad to say that to this day, we have not 
received the full measure of the 40 acres and a mule. But our African 
American farmers in the deep South, the Midwest and other parts have 
held steady and strong, keeping up the good fight, providing that 
enhancement of economic opportunity that has kept this country going.
  I hope as we proceed to celebrate this day and as well as we 
celebrate African American history throughout the years to come, we 
will pay tribute to our African American farmers and the justice that 
they deserve.
  Now let me simply say this, Mr. Speaker. I too wanted to acknowledge 
the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters) for her leadership in the 
Congressional Black Caucus, and certainly since we are talking about 
minority businesses and in this instance African American businesses, 
let me acknowledge Mr. Minority Business or African American Business 
in the United States Congress, Parren Mitchell, and thank him for his 
leadership on these issues of opening the doors of opportunity. Kweisi 
Mfume followed him with his interests in small business, and now the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Wynn).
  None of these individuals gave particular interest for their own 
self-aggrandizement, but they knew that it was important for us to be 
strong economically. So they championed, along with other members of 
this Caucus, affirmative action.
  I would simply say that now is the time, as we celebrate this month, 
that we recognize that the struggle is not over. Affirmative action is 
under siege and many of our African American businesses that are 
successful today are successful because of African American effort in 
promoting affirmative action that has helped so many in this Nation, 
the rule of two that has provided for opportunities for small 
businesses and, yes, the Community Reinvestment Act that forced many of 
our Nation's banks to recognize that they could not do business by 
taking in money from the African American community and not investing 
money in the African American community. The creation of BET, one of 
the most well watched national stations has also been a recipient and 
beneficiary of affirmative action.
  Lastly I would say, Mr. Speaker, that the important thing is what our 
young people believe and how they will carry the torch into the 21st 
century. I hope and my challenge is that although they may not have 
lived through the time frame of Dr. Martin Luther King or Stokely 
Carmichael or any of the others who so aptly raised their voices for 
equal opportunity and freedom, I hope that they will never forget. I 
hope there is a sense of loyalty and understanding and guts that they 
would feel that the work that they do, wherever it might be, those who 
may work in the United States Congress, with many of the Members and 
particularly those of the Congressional Black Caucus, understand that 
they have a mission, that it is a challenge and an honor to be so 
associated, that many of the strides that have been made by African 
Americans have come from the Congressional Black Caucus.
  I challenge our educators and teachers: Teach our children about 
their history, do not have them scratching to find out about African 
American history because school boards and schools refuse to include 
those very important subjects in our curriculum. We all have a 
challenge. And to our African American businesses across the Nation, 
not to the exclusion of small businesses or Hispanic businesses or 
women-owned businesses, you have a special responsibility to give back 
to your community. I know that you live there. I know that you are 
giving. Let that be your cause.
  My final word is to simply say that black history must be lived and 
not spoken. That means that we are all challenged to live African 
American history and the contributions to this Nation every single day. 
God bless you.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, the theme for this year's 
special order to commemorate Black History Month is ``African Americans 
in Business: The Path Towards Empowerment.'' There is no doubt that the 
path towards empowerment includes economic empowerment--the ownership 
of businesses, as well as the creation of and participation in business 
opportunities. However, this assumes the freedom and liberty to do so.
  To ``secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity'' 
is one of the basic reasons that the Constitution was ``ordain[ed]''

[[Page H419]]

and established.'' These are basic tenets of freedom. This portion of 
the preamble of the Constitution reminds us of the economic empowerment 
that surrounded the push towards the establishment of this great 
  There is no doubt that African Americans have always believed in the 
principles set forth in both the Constitution and the Declaration of 
Independence. Our contributions to the preservation of American liberty 
even extends to the beginning of this country, when Crispus Attucks was 
the first to die for the cause of American freedom and liberty in the 
Revolutionary War.
  From the activism of Frederick Douglas, Sojouner Truth, and Harriet 
Tubman during the abolitionists movement, to the heroic efforts of Rosa 
Parks, Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall and Fannie Lou Hamer 
during the civil rights movement, African Americans have never lost 
faith in this country to expand democracy and provide true economic 
freedom for all Americans.
  African Americans have been entrepreneurs from the very beginning of 
this country. During Reconstruction, African American businesses 
flourished in black neighborhoods largely due to the fact that we were 
not welcomed in majority stores and business establishments.
  When African Americans were barred from purchasing life and health 
insurance coverage, African American entrepreneurs established their 
own life insurance companies. Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Co., 
North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co., and Atlanta Life Insurance 
Co. are only a few of the companies that were started by African 
Americans. These companies exist even today.
  In Houston, Unity Bank serves as a model of African American 
empowerment. It is the only African American owned bank in Houston and 
serves as a beacon for African American business and commerce.
  In the present era, our African American elected officials, along 
with the presidents of the various civil rights, fraternal, religious 
and business organizations continue to encourage our Nation to keep its 
commitment to freedom, equality and economic well-being and empowerment 
for all Americans.
  Black History Month celebrations provide excellent opportunities to 
inform young and old alike of African American contributions to America 
and the world. The origins of the celebrations of black history as 
Black History Month date back to 1926, when Dr. Carter G. Woodsen set 
aside a special period of time in February to recognize the heritage, 
achievements and contributions of African Americans. It has only been 
since 1976 that we officially designated February as Black History 
  African Americans have made unique contributions to the scientific 
and technological advancement of this country and to the growth and 
popularity of American culture around the world. Many of the 
modern conveniences that we enjoy today were invented by African 

  Where would we without the stop light, invented by Garrett Morgan; 
the incandescent light bulb, invented by Lewis Latimer; Dr. Charles 
Drew, a pioneer in blood research who established the first blood bank; 
and George Washington Carver who revolutionized the Agricultural 
Economy of the South with his novel ideas on crop rotation.
  Today, African American scientists and astronauts are expanding our 
knowledge of space. How many of us know of the names of these African 
American astronauts who have led the way for our country to be the 
leader in space exploration and space based science:
  Major Lawrence--the first African American astronaut; Ron McNair; 
Guion Bluford--The first African American to actually fly in space; 
Gen. Fred Geory; Charles Bolan; Mai Jaimson; Robert Curbeam; Winston 
Scott; Evon Cagle; Joan Higgenbotham; Stephanie Wilson; Benard Harris; 
and Mike Anderson, an African American astronaut who flew in January on 
this last mission of the space shuttle Endeavor to Mir.
  The economic benefits gained from the work of these African Americans 
has proven monumental. Our path towards economic empowerment has forged 
its way even through space.
  After the enslavement of Africans in this country, we were promised 
40 acres and a mule. This, for many, would have provided a means by 
which newly freed slaves could work the land in order to provide for 
themselves. It was to allow for economic empowerment. That dream did 
not come true. It was readily apparent that the path towards economic 
empowerment for African Americans was littered with lies, 
deceitfulness, and Jim Crow laws that were designed to stifle the 
ability of African Americans to own business and in turn ``secure the 
blessing of [economic] liberty.''
  African Americans built this country with their sweat and blood. They 
served as the economic backbone of the southern economy and helped to 
develop the West. During the migration from the South to the North in 
the first half of this century, African Americans played critical roles 
in the factories that energized the Industrial Revolution.
  It is widely understood that education improves one's quality of 
life. African Americans have always believed in the importance of 
education. During the Reconstruction period, African Americans pooled 
their resources to form schools and colleges that still exist and 
thrive. Today, historically black colleges and universities are 
producing the doctors, lawyers, business persons, dentists, pharmacists 
and professionals that help to construct a better path to economic 
  The accomplishments of African Americans are too numerous to actually 
list. From the tumultuous birth of our great Nation to this present 
day, African Americans have contributed to all that is good about 
  Black History Month is an ongoing celebration of victory. It is a 
celebration of our very survival and rise from oppression to recognized 
accomplishments and achievements.
  Our challenge today is to become economically empowered through the 
ownership of business and the aggressive participation in business 
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Texas for her 
eloquent statement on this occasion.
  I yield to the distinguished gentlewoman from California (Ms. 
Waters), chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus. Over the number 
of years I have taken out this special order annually to celebrate 
Black History Month, I have always done so in conjunction with whomever 
was the chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus. And I am 
delighted this year to have my name associated with that of our 
distinguished chairperson, the gentlewoman from California (Ms. 
Waters), who is doing such an outstanding job in giving leadership not 
only to the Congressional Black Caucus but here in the House of 
Representatives. It is an honor to yield to her.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
  I am delighted to be a part of this very special time that is taken 
out and directed by a very special man. The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Stokes) has led this House in celebrating Black History Month and this 
will be the last year that the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stokes) will be 
here to do this for us. While we are all saddened by the fact that he 
will not be here to guide us on this and in many other efforts that we 
have to put forth, we are delighted that he is here once again this 
evening to make sure that we take time out from our very busy schedules 
to pay attention to the contributions of African Americans to this 
  This year we have as our theme African Americans in business, the 
path towards empowerment. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join with all my 
colleagues in celebrating this Black History Month. Each year during 
the month of February we consciously take time to acknowledge and 
celebrate the history and accomplishments of African Americans in this 
country and worldwide. As we reflect on our history, I am more 
convinced now than ever that economic development through black 
entrepreneurship is a key to creating jobs, wealth and opportunities in 
our communities. Our history is rich with African Americans who created 
economic opportunities for others by owning, operating and building 
their own businesses. The early trailblazers include black 
entrepreneurs like Madam C. J. Walker, A. G. Gaston and John Johnson.
  Madam C. J. Walker, the first woman self-made millionaire of any race 
built an economic empire starting with $1.50 in capital. In 1905, Madam 
Walker founded Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the Nation's 
first successful black hair care products company. Madam Walker's 
company trained thousands of black women in her beauty schools and 
colleges. Her company sales force eventually exceeded more than 20,000 
agents in the United States, the Caribbean and Central America.
  Arthur G. Gaston founded the Booker T. Washington Burial Society in 
1923. He parlayed his company, which guaranteed African Americans a 
decent burial, into a conglomerate of 10 companies that included two 
radio stations, a construction company, a bank, two funeral homes, a 
motel and a nursing home. When he died in 1996, he sold several of his 
businesses, valued at $34 million, to his employees.
  John Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson 
Publishing Company, pioneered one of the Nation's largest black-owned 

[[Page H420]]

and the world's largest black-owned publishing company. In 1942, with a 
$500 loan secured by his mother's furniture, Mr. Johnson started his 
company, which now includes Ebony, Jet, EM, that is Ebony Man, and 
other enterprises. Today Johnson Publishing Magazines employ over 2,700 
people and reach more than 20,000 readers in 40 countries.
  While C. J. Walker and A. G. Gaston and John Johnson paved the way, 
Reginald Lewis and Robert Johnson raised black entrepreneurship to 
another level. They used savvy deal-making and Wall Street financing 
techniques to create two of the largest publicly traded African 
American controlled companies in America. Reginald Lewis, a Wall Street 
lawyer, used his financial and legal savvy to buy Beatrice 
International Food Company, a global giant of 64 companies in 31 
countries. With that acquisition, he parlayed TLC Beatrice into the 
largest African American controlled business in the United States. In 
1992, TLC Beatrice had revenues of $1.54 billion. When he died in 1993, 
he had a net worth of $400 million. His wife Loida N. Lewis currently 
runs the company.
  Robert Johnson also recognized early on the power of Wall Street to 
create economic opportunities. In 1980, he created Entertainment 
Television, the largest black cable television and entertainment 
network. In 1991, BET became the first African American owned and 
controlled company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. BET has 
revenues in excess of $132 million.
  Several African American entrepreneurs and entertainers have 
continued the legacy of ownership and empowerment for African 
Americans. These include among others: Edward Lewis, J. Bruce 
Llewellyn, Earl Graves, Berry Gordy, Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey.
  Edward Lewis, the publisher, chairman and CEO of Essence 
Communications, heads one the country's most successful and diverse 
African American owned communications companies. In May 1970, Lewis and 
partner Clarence O. Smith published the first issue of Essence 
Magazine, a fashion magazine for black women. Today Essence 
Communications Incorporated is synonymous with black womanhood.
  I cannot go into Mr. James Bruce Llewellyn, Mr. Earl Graves, Mr. Bill 
Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, and of course Berry Gordy. But I have mentioned 
them and we shall continue to make this information available to all.
  I thank the gentleman very much for this opportunity to share the 
contributions of these wonderful African Americans.
  Mr. Speaker, today I rise to join my colleagues in celebrating Black 
History Month.
  Each year during the month of February we consciously take time to 
acknowledge and celebrate the history and accomplishments of African 
Americans in this country and worldwide.
  As we reflect on our history, I am more convinced now than ever that 
economic development through Black entrepreneurship is a key to 
creating jobs, wealth and opportunities in our communities.
  Our history is rich with African Americans who created economic 
opportunities for others by owning, operating and building their own 
businesses. The early trailblazers include black entrepreneurs like 
Madam C.J. Walker, A.G. Gaston and John Johnson.
  Madam C.J. Walker, the first woman self-made millionaire of any race, 
built an economic empire starting with $1.50 in capital. In 1905, Madam 
Walker founded Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the nation's 
first successful black hair care products company. Madam Walker's 
company trained thousands of black women in her beauty schools and 
colleges. Her company's sales force eventually exceeded more than 
20,000 agents in the United States, the Caribbean and Central America.
  Arthur G. Gaston founded the Booker T. Washington Burial Society in 
1923. He parlayed his company, which guaranteed African Americans a 
decent burial, into a conglomerate of 10 companies that included two 
radio stations, a construction company, a bank, two funeral homes, a 
motel and a nursing home. When he died in 1996, he sold several of his 
businesses valued at $34 million to his employees.
  John Johnson, Chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson 
Publishing Company, pioneered one of the nation's largest black-owned 
businesses and the world's largest black-owned publishing company. In 
1942, with a $500 loan secured by his mother's furniture, Mr. Johnson 
started his company, which now publishes Ebony, Jet, EM (Ebony Man), 
and other enterprises. Today, Johnson Publishing magazines, employ over 
2,700 people and reach more than 20 million readers in 40 countries.
  While C.J. Walker, A.G. Gaston and John Johnson paved the way, 
Reginald Lewis and Robert Johnson raised black entrepreneurship to 
another level. They used savvy deal-making and Wall Street financing 
techniques to create two of the largest publicly-traded African-
American controlled companies in America.
  Reginald Lewis, a Wall Street lawyer, used his financial and legal 
savvy to buy Beatrice International Food Co., a global giant of 64 
companies in 31 countries. With that acquisition, he parlayed TLC 
Beatrice into the largest African American controlled business in the 
United States. In 1992, TLC Beatrice had revenues of $1.54 billion. 
When he died in 1993, he had a net worth of $400 million dollars. His 
wife, Loida N. Lewis, currently runs the company.
  Robert Johnson also recognized early on the power of Wall Street to 
help create economic opportunities. In 1980, he created Black 
Entertainment Television, the largest black cable television and 
entertainment network. In 1991, BET became the first African American-
owned and controlled company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. BET 
has revenues in excess of $132 million dollars.
  Several African Americans entrepreneurs and entertainers have 
continued the legacy of ownership and empowerment for African 
Americans. These include, among others, Edward Lewis, J. Bruce 
Llewellyn, Earl Graves, Sr., Berry Gordy, William Cosby and Oprah 
  Edward Lewis, the publisher and chairman/CEO of Essence 
Communications, heads one of the country's most successful and diverse 
African-American owned communications companies. In May, 1970, Lewis 
and partner Clarence O. Smith published the first issue of ESSENCE 
Magazine, a fashion magazine for black women. Today, ESSENCE 
Communications Inc. is synonymous with black womanhood.
  James Bruce Llewellyn has built several multimillion dollar 
companies. He currently is the president of the Philadelphia Coca-Cola 
bottling companies of one of the largest Coca-Cola Bottling 
distributorships in this country. The Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling 
Company currently employs over 1,000 people.
  Earl G. Graves, Sr. launched Black Enterprise magazine in 1970. His 
magazine set the standard for informing African American entrepreneurs 
``how to'' start and grow a successful business. Black Enterprise 
magazine now boasts more than 3.1 million readers and has a controlled 
subscriber base of 300,000.
  Bill Cosby is one of the most highly-paid TV personalities in 
America. After cutting his first comedy album in 1964, Cosby went on to 
star in several television series, including ``I Spy,'' ``The Cosby 
Show''--NBC's top-rated program through most of the late 80s and the 
new sitcom ``Cosby.'' Cosby also is known for his Jell-o commercials 
with children; as the narrator of the ``Fat Albert'' cartoons and as a 
producer and creator of other television shows. Cosby and his wife, 
Camille, have been active in education circles through their donations 
amounting to over $20 million to black women's colleges. Mr. Cosby's 
earnings exceeded $33 million last year.
  Oprah Winfrey, queen of the afternoon talk shows, worked her way up 
from a local TV reporter to a morning talk show host. Her lively, 
aggressive, intelligence and streetwise common sense made her a popular 
television personality who earns top ratings and numerous television 
awards. Winfrey is also a savvy business woman. In 1988, Winfrey 
purchased a Chicago-based movie and television production facility that 
she renamed Harpo Studios. She has used Harpo Studios to produce her 
own television dramas and series. She made over $200 million last year.
  We have made tremendous strides in creating black-owned businesses. 
Between 1987 and 1992, the number of black-owned businesses grew by 46 
percent. Revenues also rose by 63 percent from $19.8 billion to $32.2 
billion. Black Enterprise reports that the leading black industrial and 
service firms created more than 4,000 new jobs between 1995 and 1996.
  However, in 1992, African Americans and other minorities, 
collectively, owned only 11 percent of all businesses in America. 
Annual sales receipts for minority-owned businesses averaged only 
$202,000, compared with an average of $3.3 million for white-owned 
  To bridge those gaps and build economically sound communities, the 
development of more black businesses is essential. Economic power today 
will mean jobs, creation of wealth, and continuing political clout in 
the future.
  As Madam C.J. Walker was fond of saying, ``I am not merely satisfied 
in making money for myself, for I am endeavoring to provide employment 
for hundreds of women of my race.'' ``I had to make my own living and 
my own opportunity! But I made it! That's why I want to

[[Page H421]]

say . . . don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come . . . 
Get up and make them!''

                              {time}  2030

  Mr. Speaker, I thank our distinguished chairperson of the 
Congressional Black Caucus for her statement and her participation in 
this Special Order.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased now to yield to the distinguished gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Barrett).
  Mr. BARRETT of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Stokes). It is an honor to be here tonight with him.
  Today I honor the accomplishments and advancements of African 
Americans, and I join the celebration of Black History Month. It is 
fitting that we honor African-American business pioneers this year, as 
we are in the midst of record economic growth. Many African-American 
businesses have indeed made strides in the business world.
  The Reverend Martin Luther King saw the economic potential of the 
African-American community and called for the use of that power. He 
said, ``We are a poor people individually. Collectively, we are richer 
than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. We have 
an annual income of more than $30 billion a year. That is power right 
there if we know how to pool it.''
  In my home city of Milwaukee, and across the Nation, African-American 
businesses have made the sacrifices necessary to achieve success in the 
business world. These efforts have paved the way for today's African-
American businesses and entrepreneurs and established a solid business 
environment in which minority-owned businesses now grow and prosper.
  One of these businesses, the Columbia Building and Loan Association, 
was the first African-American financial institution in Milwaukee. The 
business has been located at Fond du Lac and 20th, in the heart of 
Milwaukee, since it was founded in 1915. The founders, Wilbur and Ardie 
Hayland, were committed to development in the African-American 
community and used their business to invest in and develop homes and 
businesses. They saw that African Americans could not secure loans from 
white institutions and the housing situation in their community was 
bleak. They decided to do something. As a result, great strides were 
made in this community. The Columbia Building and Loan is still in 
business today as the Columbia Savings and Loan.
  Another Wisconsin African-American pioneer, William Green, was the 
author of Wisconsin's first civil rights legislation, the Wisconsin 
Civil Rights Act of 1895, which outlawed discrimination in public 
places. Mr. Green came to Wisconsin in 1887 and graduated from the law 
school there in 1892.
  Wisconsin's first African-American newspaper, the Wisconsin 
Enterprise-Blake, founded in 1916, paved the way for many of today's 
successful businesses.
  Wisconsin now has a number of African-American radio stations and 
newspapers, including the Community Journal, the Milwaukee Time, and 
the Milwaukee Courier. These publications and outlet serve as a window 
on the community, highlighting the achievements of the community they 
  But these businesses are just the tip of the iceberg when we talk 
about African-American businesses in Wisconsin. African-American 
entrepreneurs have established grocery stores, child care centers, 
health care centers, law firms, eye care centers, engineering firms, 
data centers, sales and marketing services, and many more. Some of 
these businesses have succeeded in securing contracts and investing 
millions of dollars in community development projects. Just last summer 
an African American-owned contracting company secured the largest 8(a) 
contract awarded by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 
Wisconsin's history. Bowles Construction of Milwaukee received a $6.1 
million contract for a flood control project over the Wisconsin River.
  This month, during Black History Month, we can all take pride in the 
success of both past and present African-American businesses. These 
businesses have become a growing, integral part of the healthy economy 
America is enjoying today. They deserve this recognition, and we should 
all be proud of what has been accomplished.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin for his 
participation tonight, and at this time I am pleased to yield to the 
distinguished former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne).
  Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, let me congratulate the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Lou Stokes) again for his effort of bringing forth our African-
American history to the Nation. We will certainly miss him when he 
departs from this great body.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to join my colleagues this evening in 
commemorating Black History Month, which is celebrating the 
achievements of African Americans in the field of business. This year's 
theme, African Americans in Business: The Path Towards Empowerment, is 
very fitting at a time in history when so many talented African-
American men and women are playing leading roles in our Nation's 
business sector and taking their rightful place in national and 
international economic affairs.
  According to the Census Bureau's survey of minority-owned business 
enterprises, the number of black-owned businesses has increased 46 
percent in recent years. The 100 largest black-owned companies in the 
United States generated revenue of over $14 billion.
  Last summer Fortune Magazine profiled a new generation of African 
Americans who are achieving phenomenal success on Wall Street. Among 
them are John Utendahl, a bond trader who founded Utendahl Capital 
Partners, the largest black-owned investment bank in the United States. 
His firm has been involved in over $250 billion worth of transactions.
  Another success story, a friend of mine, young Ron Blaylock from New 
Jersey, a young man in his 30s, founded Blaylock and Partners, the 
first minority firm to manage a corporate bond underwriting. His firm 
supervised the $150 million issue on behalf of the Tennessee Valley 
  We all know Marianne Spraggins, the top achieving African-American 
woman on Wall Street, who took on the challenging position of CEO for 
W.R. Lazard, a black-owned firm.
  One African American caught in downsizing of Occidental Petroleum, 
William Davis, started his own company, Pulsar Data Systems. This $166 
million business is now the largest owned black computer firm.
  In addition to large-scale companies, successful small businesses are 
being started every week in communities throughout the Nation. I am 
very proud of the entrepreneurs in my congressional district in New 
Jersey, who have worked hard to build their businesses.
  Our local communities are enhanced by the presence of successful 
businesses in the 10th District. Starting very quickly with the City 
National Bank, a minority-owned bank, chaired by Mr. Lewis Prezau; Dunn 
and Sons, a janitorial service owned by Malcolm Dunn; Bradford and 
Byrd, also a janitorial service, owned by Avery and Trina Byrd; Ke'Dar 
Books, a store that sells books on Bergen Street, owned by a former 
student of mine, Jack Martin; P.C. Pros, a computer company owned by an 
outstanding businesswoman, Avis Yates; Johnson Publication Company of 
New Jersey, which produces many publications, including the popular 
newspaper City News; and Evan Bow Construction, owned by the Bowser 
brothers; Justin's Mens Clothing in South Orange, New Jersey.

  And so during this Black History Month, as we celebrate, I conclude 
by saying that even during the era of slavery, free blacks were 
successful business owners. Records show back in the 1700s, as we have 
heard, Paul Cuffe was a shipper and merchant in New England; James 
Wormley owned a hotel right here in Washington, D.C.; William Johnson 
owned a string of barber shops in Natchez, Mississippi. And after the 
Civil War many African Americans were established in businesses.
  So as I conclude, I do want to mention this is the hundredth 
anniversary of the birth of Paul Robeson, a Jersian, a 12-letter man in 
every athletic event that they played at the time, an outstanding 
singer, but who had to fight to get on the chorus, on the glee club, 
and who was not allowed to play football initially when he first went 

[[Page H422]]

 He ended up with a broken rib and destroyed his hands, but he went 
back to say he was going to play. He became an all-American. And with 
that I yield back to the gentleman.
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey and, 
Mr. Speaker, I express my appreciation to all the Members who have 
participated in this Special Order.
  Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today and join my friends and 
colleagues in celebrating and honoring Black History Month. As we 
observe and reflect on the achievements of African-Americans in our 
Nation, I enthusiastically support and salute this year's theme, ``The 
Path Towards Empowerment.''
  The African-American business community has been the hallmark of 
empowerment efforts in my Congressional District. This year marks the 
fifth consecutive year that I will host a Small Business Conference in 
my Congressional District in San Diego. These conferences have already 
opened the doors of opportunity to many African-American businesses 
which lacked such access in the past.
  These seminars have been concentrated in the African-American 
community and have produced significant achievements. Bryco 
Distributing Company, one of San Diego's largest paper goods 
distributing companies, has relocated into my Congressional District. 
We are also developing both a Business Improvement District and a 
Micro-Business District in the heart of San Diego's African-American 
  Government contracting has also increased opportunities for the 
African-American business community. The Navy Exchange system has 
enabled an African-American baking goods company to acquire a Navy 
vendor contract. Construction contracts for Navy housing and other 
facilities have given African-American contractors, subcontractors and 
vendors valuable opportunities of historic proportions.
  My own efforts have also attempted to provide local empowerment 
through the business community. I am working with local African-
American leaders to foster a strong working relationship with the 
African-American Chamber of Commerce in my district. I regularly review 
actions of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and that of local 
banks to monitor adherence to California's Community Reinvestment Act 
passed to guarantee investment in traditionally red-lined communities. 
I have also supported efforts of the Economic Community Magazine to 
create an Entrepreneurial Training Center.
  Our efforts here and at home on behalf of African-American businesses 
work to further strengthen this community and create additional 
opportunities. It is this community empowerment which will ultimately 
sustain on-going efforts to ensure equality, guarantee justice and 
maintain hope in the future.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleague, Louis 
Stokes, in celebration of black history month. This special order is a 
time honored tradition in the House, and I always enjoy participating.
  For the past 17 years, I have celebrated black history month with the 
families, community leaders and elected officials of the fifth 
congressional district in Maryland, together, we reflect the memory of 
African American leaders past, honor the leaders and activists in the 
present, and encourage the development and education of future leaders: 
the children.
  One of the reasons I celebrate black history month is because I 
believe that African American history is the foundation of American 
history: They are indeed one in the same. African American history is a 
celebration of the journey of a people from which all Americans are 
able to witness the meaning of strength, perseverance, resilience, 
talent, faith, leadership, economic empowerment, and vision.
  Strength was what the African ancestors drew upon when they were 
stripped from their native land, chained in the bowels of a slave ship, 
and forced to make the traumatic transatlantic voyage into the unknown.
  Strength was the African slaves' will to survive in a foreign land, 
under violent, torturous and deplorable conditions for over 260 years.
  Perseverance was when Harriet Tubman, ``the Moses of her people'' led 
slaves to freedom countless times, dubbed ``the underground railroad'' 
in the face of danger and exhaustion. I am pleased to be a co-sponsor 
of Mr. Stokes' bill, H.R. 1635, the national underground railroad 
network to Freedom Act of 1998. This legislation would authorize the 
National Park Service to link together in a coordinated and cohesive 
fashion the many sites, structures, activities, museums and programs 
that commemorate and celebrate this African American triumph.
  Resilience is Booker T. Washington, who, after walking from West 
Virginia to Hampton Institute located in Hampton, Virginia, swept the 
floors of a classroom as his admissions test, and went on to become the 
principal of Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. Washington played 
a defining leadership role in American politics in the early 1900's.
  Talent is defined by the great storytellers of the Harlem Renaissance 
era, like Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, and 
Claude McKay--writers who drew upon their own experiences and societal 
African American culture as the basis of their compelling text.
  Talent is the musical genius of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella 
Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, who developed the wonders of jazz music 
and laid the foundation of America's appreciation for many genres of 
contemporary music.

  Faith is what the late Jackie Robinson had when he became the first 
black player in modern major league baseball in 1947, an act which 
helped break down racial barriers in professional sports. We just 
celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his feat last year, marking this 
triumphant point in history and reminding our youth of how far we have 
come and how far we have yet to go in fighting discrimination.
  Faith is what Rosa Parks had when she denied a white person a seat on 
a bus, which helped lead us into the greatest movement in American 
history--the civil rights movement.
  Faith is what nine students in little rock, Arkansas had when they 
integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957, becoming symbols of 
educational equality.
  The late Thurgood Marshall demonstrated leadership when he became the 
first black associate justice of the supreme court in 1967. The vital 
role he played as counsel in Brown v. Board of Education Topeka, Kansas 
left an indelible mark on the history of education in America, 
eliminating the cruel ruse of ``Separate but equal''--overturning 
Plessy v. Ferguson.
  The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was and will remain one of 
America's most revered and honored leaders as an advocate for racial 
harmony. Like many other leaders of the 1960's, Dr. King's 
assassination took him from us physically, but his spirit of leadership 
and his vision for racial equality still lives.
  Economic empowerment is what all of us here are seeking to sustain 
and create. We all want to develop and strengthen our communities 
economically by creating jobs and other opportunities to make sure that 
our neighborhoods are prosperous and our children are provided for.
  All of these attribute I have touched upon lead us to vision. 
African-Americans have always had a vision, whether it was of freedom, 
equality, voting rights civil rights, economic stability or justice. It 
must be noted historically that, when reviewing the visions of African 
Americans from one point in history to another, one thing rings true: 
The vision is always realized.
  As we approach the year 2000, we should all take a long, hard look at 
the journey that our ancestors have taken, that we have taken--and how, 
we need to look at the road we have left for our children to take on 
their journey.
  We leave our children with a rich history full of leaders and 
innovators, of men and women who made a difference and ensured the 
survival of a race of people in the face of adversity.
  Yet, as we prepare to pass the legacy of a people to the next 
generation, it is still incumbent upon us to tell the story, to 
celebrate the history. We must impress upon our children not to give 
up, but to always hope. They must hold onto the vision for their 
journey, and stick with it until it is realized--as our African 
American forefathers and mothers did.
  It is impossible for me to recognize all of the African-Americans 
throughout history who have influenced our lives. However, I am truly 
thankful that, with the leadership of Representative Stokes and others 
here today on the floor, we take the time to recognize black history 
  Today, we are celebrating the African-American journey and are 
passing the legacy onto the next generation. I am proud to have 
participated in this special order commemorating black history month in 
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise on this the 11th day of Black 
History Month to salute African-Americans in business. In Martin Luther 
King's ``I have a Dream'' speech, he spoke of a promise that America 
made to its people: ``A promise that all men, yes, black men as well as 
white men, should be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness.'' Today as more and more young black 
women and men graduate from colleges and business schools, medical and 
law schools across this land, they are taking Dr. King's dream and 
turning it into a reality. In 1960, 141,000 African-Americans attended 
college, in 1988 785,000 African-Americans attended. Two decades ago, 
only a handful of African-Americans graduated from MBA programs whereas 
in 1995, 4000 African-Americans graduated. There is a strong 
correlation between higher education and African-American business 
success. By utilizing their hard won knowledge and mixing it with their 
strength and perseverance, African-Americans are becoming more 
empowered through entrepreneurship each day.

[[Page H423]]

  According to ``Banking on Black Enterprise'' a new community of 
African-American businesses are emerging. From 1987 to 1992, African-
American businesses grew by over 45 percent. Between the years of 1984 
and 1994, African-American pilots and navigators increased 650%, 
dentists 311% and black engineers 173%. Other factors such as corporate 
procurement plans and municipal plans have led to empowerment for 
African-Americans. Programs of this nature such as the General Motors 
African-American empowerment forum for small minority-owned business 
and the Michigan Minority Business Development workshops and 
conferences have also opened doors for African-American businesses.
  We must fight to maintain these gains and ensure the growth of the 
African-American middle class into the next century. Every time that a 
little black boy or black girl takes their first step into a school, 
Dr. King's dream takes one step closer to becoming reality and every 
time that a new African-American business opens, Dr. King's dream takes 
yet another step closer to reality. Our successes in entrepreneurship 
are numerous, our chances for further growth, limitless.
  Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Speaker, in honor of Black History Month and its 
1998 theme, African-Americans in Business, I would like to draw your 
attention to seven distinguished residents of Indiana's First 
Congressional District. These business people have achieved stunning 
success while generously giving of themselves to the community.
  Nathaniel Z. Cain is a native of Gary. With his wife, Jacqueline, 
they raised 3 children, Fred, Jeff and Natalie, and now have 3 
grandchildren. Nate started his business career in the automobile 
industry after serving 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and 2 tours of 
duty in Vietnam. He began working at a Ford dealership in Gary in 1969, 
began buying stock ownership in dealerships in 1986, and, in 1996, 
bought the same Ford dealership in Gary in which he had begun his 
career in 1969. He currently serves as President and Dealer-principal 
of Tyson Ford and Tyson Lincoln-Mercury and Vice-President of Melrose 
  Nate has been recognized and rewarded for his outstanding 
achievements throughout his career. He was awarded 4 medals for his 
service in Vietnam: the National Defense Service medal, two Vietnam 
service medals (1st & 2nd awards), and the Vietnam campaign medal. He 
received numerous awards at the Tyson Motor Corp. in Joliet, Illinois, 
and in 1996 received the ``100 Champions Award'' for the top 100 
Lincoln-Mercury Dealers. He has also been listed on Black Enterprise 
magazine's Top 100 Black Auto Dealers List since 1990. Throughout his 
career, Nate has been involved in his community, serving on various 
boards and councils, including the Board of Directors of the Boys & 
Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana, the Gary Mental Health Association, 
the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, the Board of Trustees of the 
Gary YWCA, the National Auto Dealers Association, the Ford-Lincoln-
Mercury Minority Dealers Association, and the Chrysler-Plymouth 
Minority Dealers Association. His story is clearly a tribute to 
economic success and civic devotion.
  Sharon L. Chambers is an insurance agent with State Farm in Gary, 
where she lives with her daughter, Sheena. Sharon received a degree 
from Indiana University and started her own insurance agency in 1984. 
Sharon has received the ``Outstanding Young Women of America Award,'' 
and, last year, she was inducted into Gary's first Women's Museum of 
Cultural Development. Sharon started her own agency with no customers 
and, for years later, was the number one insurance agent in the State 
of Indiana. She truly made it on her own. However, Sharon does not 
focus the story of her success on herself. She talks about the support 
of Gary citizens, and about the numerous young African-American women 
who have worked in her office as Marketing Representatives, five of 
whom have started their own businesses and four of whom have returned 
to college.
  Imogene Harris is a Gary native, who earned her undergraduate degree 
from Indiana University and undertook graduate studies at Valparaiso 
and Purdue Universities. She was a teacher with the Gary School 
Corporation for 12 years and became President and Publisher of the 
family-owned Harris Printing Co. and INFO News in 1978. She and her 
husband, James T. Harris, have worked at their business for nearly 48 
years. Imogene is actively involved in the community and works with the 
Gary Chamber of Commerce Board, the Urban League of Northwest Indiana 
Board, the Gary Accord Board, and the NAACP. Additionally, she holds 
membership in numerous organizations, including the National Newspaper 
Publishers Association, the Great Lakes Broadcasting Board, the Delta 
Sigma Theta Sorority, and the Delaney United Methodist Church. She has 
been honored by the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, the NAACP (nationally 
and locally), NCNW and many other organizations. In addition, Imogene 
has received the Gary Frontiers' ``Drum Major Award'' and the 
``Distinguished Hoosier Award.'' She has continually distinguished 
herself as an individual committed to equality, actively working to 
eradicate racism and prejudice through providing a forum in which 
issues can be addressed in a productive manner. She has been committed 
to the improvement of Gary for 50 years and much of the progress that 
has been made can clearly be attributed to her.
  Roosevelt Haywood came to Indiana from Mississippi in 1948, and he 
attended Indiana University. He has a wife and seven children and is 
currently the owner of Haywood Insurance Agency in Gary. Before going 
into the insurance business, Roosevelt was a member of the United 
Steelworkers' Local #1014. Roosevelt built his successful business on 
his own, but he has been an active member of the community while doing 
so. He is currently Vice-President of the Gary branch of the NAACP, 
Vice-President of the Gary Black Insurance Agents and Brokers 
Association, a Deacon-Trustee at his Baptist Church, and a Board Member 
of the Brothers' Keeper. His record of civil service is extensive. 
Roosevelt worked as a State Chairman of the Fair Share Organization, a 
civil rights group that broke down the discrimination barrier over a 
decade ago in Gary, Michigan City, and East Chicago, Indiana. He 
founded and served as President of both the Gary United Council of 
Midtown Businessmen and the Gary Toastmasters International. He also 
served as Vice-President of the Minority Business Steering Committee 
and on the Advisory Board of the Urban League. He served as President 
of the Ambridge-Mann Community Board and the Indiana Association of 
Black Insurance Professionals. Finally, he served as a member of the 
Gary Library Board, the Gary Parks and Recreation Board, the Lake 
Country Economic Opportunity Council, Inc., and the Gary Common 
  The Reverend F. Brannon Jackson and his wife, Doris, are another 
Northwest Indiana success story. Reverend Jackson came from Mobile, 
Alabama in 1946, and became pastor of his church on December 1, 1965. 
Doris graduated from East Chicago Washington and studied fine arts at 
the Chicago Art Institute. She opened her own boutique in downtown 
Gary, and has been in business for almost 17 years. While Reverend 
Jackson has served as President of the Ordinary General Missionary 
Baptist State Convention of Indiana, Chairman of the Office of 
Convention and Meetings for the National Baptist Convention, USA, and 
Treasurer of the City of Gary's Commission on Economic Development, 
Mrs. Jackson has supported his efforts in a tangible way by keeping her 
own shop in downtown Gary, while many of her neighbors moved their 
businesses elsewhere. Both Reverend and Mrs. Jackson have stood by and 
sustained downtown development and committed many hours to making 
Northwest Indiana safe for worship and shopping. They are two beacons 
in the Gary Community, providing both economic and spiritual 

  Dorothy Leavell is the Editor and Publisher of the Crusader 
Newspapers, which are published in Gary and Chicago. Dorothy attended 
public school in Arkansas and Roosevelt University in Chicago. In June 
of 1998, the Chicago Crusader will celebrate 58 years of continuous 
publishing, and the Gary Crusader will celebrate 37 years of operation. 
Dorothy took over the newspapers upon the untimely death of her first 
husband, Balm L. Leavell, Jr. She had been working there for 7 years as 
an Office Manager and Business Manager before taking over the helm of 
the Crusader Newspapers in 1968. Dorothy's newspapers have never missed 
a single issue.
  Dorothy has been involved in numerous civic and humane organizations. 
She founded and sponsored the ``Odyssey Club,'' a teen club at her 
church, dedicated to raising funds and items necessary for teens to 
further their educational and career goals. Her contribution to 
community service has earned her many awards over the years, and she 
has been recognized with distinction by: the YMCA of Metropolitan 
Chicago; Holy Name of Mary School Board; Prospair Ladies Social Club, 
and the National Association of Black Media Women. She has received the 
Operation PUSH ``Family Affair Award''; ``Fourth District Community 
Improvement Association Award'' in Gary; ``Dollars and Sense Award''; 
Mary McLeod Bethune Award''; the ``Publishing Award'' from the National 
Association of Negro Business and Profession Women's Club, and the 
``NNPA's Publisher of the Year Award'' in 1989. Dorothy has been a 
member of the National Newspaper Publisher Association (NNPA), for more 
than 25 years, and she is currently serving her second term as 
president of NNPA, which represents more than 215 African-American 
newspapers in the United States. Dorothy has always had a keen interest 
in art, and she donated her personal art collection valued at over 
$50,000 to the DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago in 
the 1970's. Dorothy is currently married to John Smith, and she has two 
grown children, Antonio and Genice Leavell. She also raised a niece and 
nephew, Sharon and Leonard Gonder, and has four grandchildren.

[[Page H424]]

  Mamon Powers' college education at Campbell College in Mississippi 
was interrupted when he was drafted to serve in the European theater 
during World War II. He served for almost three and a half years, and 
was discharged as a Sergeant Major in April 1945. He then followed his 
sweetheart north, and settled in Gary to work in the steel mills. But 
Mamon did not end up working in the mill, instead deciding to try 
carpentry. Relying on the experience the had gleaned through this 
father's long association with the trade, he joined the Carpenters' 
Local #985, and was the first black carpenter's apprentice in the 
program. He worked at Means Brothers Construction Co. during the day 
and at night worked at getting his degree from Horace Mann, from which 
he graduated in 1949.
  He was then noticed by his long-time mentor, Andrew Means, who 
offered him a Vice-Presidency at Means Developers. Mamon studied Mr. 
Means' building techniques and financial planning, and in 1955 formed 
his own partnership with drywall contractor, Hollis Winters. Winters 
Powers Construction Co. built homes for 9 years before Mamon decided he 
wanted a company that was truly his own. In 1967, Powers & Sons 
Construction Co. began. Amidst a city that was changing economically 
and politically, Mamon changed with the time, branching out into 
commercial construction, and bringing two of his sons into the business 
with him. In 1971, Powers & Sons won its first million-dollar contract, 
and, in 1987, it was named one of the top businesses in the Nation. 
Black Enterprise magazine has recognized this feat for eight years. 
Mamon has contributed to many civic and charitable organizations and 
continues to volunteer and donate his time by lecturing at the various 
Gary schools on careers in the construction industry. Powers & Sons 
continues his personal commitment on a professional level by providing 
scholarships to area youths.
  These people are remarkable not just for their astounding business 
success. They are doubly remarkable for having achieved such success in 
arenas which were just beginning to open up for African-Americans. 
Marcus Garvey's prediction, that African-Americans could accomplish 
what they willed, has been borne truthful by people like these fine 
citizens of Northwest Indiana.
  But the `bootstraps' mentality is only one aspect of Garveyism, and 
these people's success can be measured in more than just professional 
terms. These Northwest Indiana leaders exemplify the true extent of 
success African-American business leaders have achieved; these men and 
women have not only made successes out of themselves, they have, and 
continue to, make successes of their communities, by devoting as much 
of their time and energy to others as they do to themselves. Sharon 
Chambers talks about the African-American women she has mentored, Mamon 
Powers talks about the man who mentored him. Roosevelt Haywood talks 
about participating in organizations which broke down the racial 
barriers facing African-Americans in the area, and Dorothy Leavell 
describes donating art in order to inspire other to achieve. The 
Reverend and Mrs. Jackson couple their work for economic growth with a 
devotion to community spiritualism. Nate Cain followed his career in 
the military with a long history of devoting his time to local youths. 
And Imogene Harris followed a career in teaching children with a career 
in teaching the community as a whole. George Washington Carver once 
said, ``How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the 
young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and 
tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have 
been all of these.'' These seven people have indeed been tender, 
compassionate, sympathetic and tolerant. And they have met with great 
success, both personal and professional, because of it.
  In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my esteemed 
colleagues, Lou Stokes and Maxine Waters, for arranging today's Special 
Order on Black History Month. Lou and Maxine truly lead the House of 
Representatives in promoting racial consciousness, and their tireless 
work on behalf of African-Americans is unparalleled. With his recent 
retirement announcement, Lou promises to leave a significant void in 
the House of Representatives. We will miss him, but I look forward to 
others benefitting from the example he has provided, as well as 
continuing his legacy.
  Mr. BENTSEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlemen for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to join our Nation in celebrating Black History 
Month. In keeping with this year's theme of ``African Americans in 
Business: The Path Towards Empowerment,'' I want to take this 
opportunity to honor African American publishers in Houston who are 
business leaders themselves and play a critical role in helping other 
businesses to succeed.
  Part of this year's theme is empowerment, and certainly the African 
American press is invaluable in empowering businesses to succeed, both 
in providing them with important community information and linking them 
to customers through advertising. I have seen the value of the African 
American press firsthand in Houston, which benefits greatly from a 
healthy number of African American community newspapers.
  Today, I want to take the opportunity to honor the publishers of 
these newspapers, including Sonceria ``Sonny'' Messiah Jiles of The 
Houston Defender; Dorris Ellis of The Houston Sun; Lenora ``Doll'' 
Carter of the Houston Forward Times; Francis Page, Sr., of The Houston 
NewsPages; and Pluria Marshall, Jr., of The Houston Informer. These 
newspapers and their publishers were honored when the National 
Newspaper Publishers Association held their annual convention in 
Houston in 1996, and it was rightly noted how remarkable it is that 
Houston has so many members of the Association. This is a testament to 
the strength of the African-American community in our city and to the 
diversity of voices heard in Houston's marketplace of ideas.
  I want to take the opportunity to honor each of these newspapers and 
their publishers.
  The Houston Defender was founded in 1930 by C.F. Richardson Sr., a 
journalist who used his newspaper to fight racism and was often the 
target of death threats and beatings by the Ku Klux Klan. Since 
becoming the publisher in 1981, Sonny Messiah Jiles has steered the 
paper back to its roots, focusing on economic and political issues 
while striving to promote positive images of African-Americans.
  Sonny Messiah Jiles is a 20-year veteran of Houston media, having 
worked in public relations and radio, as well as hosting two long-
running talk shows on minority issues. She bought the Houston Defender 
at the age of 27 with money she had saved and borrowed from family and 
friends and practically ran it by herself during her first year of 
ownership. Since then, the Houston Defender has won numerous awards, 
including an NAACP Carter G. Woodson Award in the early 1990s for the 
paper's focus on equity issues, and Sonny Messiah Jiles was selected as 
publisher of the year in 1991 by the National Newspaper Publishers 
  The Houston Sun provides extensive coverage of community, local, and 
national news, with a goal, as stated by publisher Dorris Ellis, ``to 
provide news and information the community could use and trust.'' 
Dorris Ellis began publishing The Sun out of an extra room in her home, 
and it has since grown into much larger offices and a respected role in 
Houston's African-American community.
  Dorris Ellis has long been active in a wide range of community 
activities, dating back to her work as a poll-watcher at age 14 after 
elimination of the poll tax enabled more African-Americans to vote. 
Today, she is president of the Houston League of Business and 
Professional Women and of the Houston Association of Black Journalists, 
working successfully to double the membership of each organization. A 
former kindergarten teacher, Dorris Ellis has always made education and 
youth high priorities. She has led many efforts to improve literacy, 
volunteers often in public schools, and publishes articles by student 
journalists in The Houston Sun.
  The Houston Forward Times has been a family affair since its founding 
in 1960 by Julius Carter. His wife, Lenora ``Doll'' Carter, joined the 
paper in 1961 as its advertising director and office manager. After the 
death of her husband in 1971, she became the publisher, and her 
children grew up working at the paper.
  The Houston Forward Times has sought to serve as an effective 
watchdog and voice for African American concerns in Houston, providing 
tough reporting on critical government and community issues. Relying on 
a staff of 15 full-time employees, the Houston Forward Times plays a 
specific role in keeping the community informed on such issues.
  The Houston NewsPages began publishing in 1986 as a newsletter in 
which retail tenants could advertise their businesses. Publisher 
Frances Page, Sr., remembers the painstaking and time-consuming process 
of taking each article individually to the typesetter after it was 
written by his wife Diana Fallis Page, who is co-publisher and editor-
in-chief. Today, the paper is published utilizing state-of-the-art 
computer technology.
  The Houston NewsPages seeks to highlight the achievements of African-
Americans and is known for its uplifting stories and eye-catching 
covers. From its humble beginnings, the paper has grown tremendously 
and won numerous journalism awards, including the 1990 John H. 
Stengstacke National Merit Award for General Excellence, the most 
prestigious award given to African-American publications by the 
National Newspaper Publishers Association.
  The Houston Informer & Texas Freeman is the oldest African-American 
newspaper in Texas and the third-oldest in the nation. While it has 
changed ownership several times in its 105-year history, this weekly 
paper has never missed an edition or lost its commitment to firebrand 

[[Page H425]]

  Pluria W. Marshall, Jr., the current publisher of The Informer, has 
inherited a piece of Texas history. The first issues of the paper 
focused on eradication of Jim Crow laws, equal pay for black teachers, 
and other race related issues. In the 1920s and 1930s, the newspaper 
became a strong advocate for civil rights and grew into a chain--since 
disbanded--that reached all major Texas cities and New Orleans. For 
more than two decades, George A. McElroy, a former Texas Southern 
University journalism professor, has served as editor-in-chief, leading 
the paper to numerous honors from the Texas Publishers Association and 
other organizations.
  These five newspapers and their publishers play vital roles in 
Houston's African-American community, creating jobs and business 
opportunities themselves, helping other businesses to succeed, and 
improving our community for all Houstonians. I am pleased to honor them 
as we celebrate Black History Month.
  Mr. DIXON. Mr. Speaker, in commemoration of Black History Month, I 
rise to recognize the contributions of my fellow Los Angeleno William 
Kennard, the new Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to 
the expansion of minority entrepreneurship in the telecommunications 
industry. As we observe 1998 Black History Month's theme of ``Africian 
Americans in Business: the Path to Empowerment,'' it is important to 
highlight the unique opportunity that Bill Kennard will now have as FCC 
Chairman to influence the path of minority entrepreneurship in the 
modern technological age. Bill is in a position to promote a prosperous 
business climate through his stewardship of FCC actions impacting the 
communications and broadcasting industries. As we near the end of the 
20th Century, there will be few businesses unaffected by changes in 
telecommunications, internet and wireless services. As chairman of the 
FCC, this distinguished Africian American will play a significant role 
in ushering in these changes.
  Bill Kennard became chairman of the FCC on November 7, 1997, after 
having served several years as General Counsel of the Commission. A 
native of Los Angeles, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford and 
received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1981. Before joining 
the FCC as its first Africian American general counsel, a primary focus 
of his law practice was committed to assisting minority business entry 
into the communications marketplace. Bill served on the FCC's Advisory 
Committee on Minority Ownership in Broadcasting and was instrumental in 
expansion of the FCC's minority tax certificate program adopted by the 
FCC in 1982. When members of Congress targeted the tax certificate 
program for elimination, Bill Kennard became the only senior FCC 
official to publicly defend the program and advocate for its retention.
  As general counsel of the FCC, he actively recruited minorities to 
serve in policy making positions, helping to place Africian Americans 
in charge of four of the Commission's 16 operating bureaus and offices. 
Bill Kennard's recruitment efforts resulted in significant increases in 
the number of minority lawyers throughout the commission. Prior to his 
arrival, few minority attorneys had ever served in the Office of 
General Counsel in its 60 year history; during his tenure, the office 
hired over 15 minority attorneys, including 12 Africian Americans. In 
addition, Bill created a Commission-wide mentoring program for new 
  Outgoing FCC Chairman Reed Hundt said this about William Kennard: 
``Bill Kennard has been the best General Counsel in FCC history and has 
successfully run the most difficult cases this commission has ever 
encountered. Under his leadership, we have dramatically improved our 
win record in the Court of Appeals. We have also greatly expanded the 
depth and breadth of our recruiting and instilled in all our audiences 
an awareness of fairness and impartiality of our rulemaking.''
  As Chairman of the FCC, Bill continues to demonstrate his commitment 
to assisting minorities and small businesses through the 
Telecommunications Development Fund (TDF), authorized under the 1996 
Telecommunications Act. The TDF promotes access to capital for small 
businesses to enhance competition in the telecommunications industry, 
stimulate new technological growth and development, and promotes 
universal service. TDF is an important tool for minority entrepreneurs 
to access the capital necessary to participate in the communications 
revolution. He is a strong advocate for universal service, an essential 
part of the 1996 Act that seeks to ensure that communities and 
consumers are not negatively impacted by telecommunications 
  In talking of Bill's accomplishments, I want to knowledge the role 
that his parents, Robert and Helen played in raising this important 
member of our community. I was a friend of Robert Kennard, and greatly 
respected his accomplishment in creating the largest black-owned 
architectural firm in the western United States. He started his Los 
Angeles firm shortly after returning from service in World War II, at a 
time when it was particularly difficult for Africian Americans to break 
into this business. Clearly his dedication and commitment to excel has 
been passed on to his son. His mother, Helen, worked in the Los Angeles 
school district, teaching English to non-English speaking students. It 
is noteworthy that in his FCC biography, Bill credits his parents with 
teaching him the power of communication and the importance of building 
  With our help and support, the potential impact that Bill Kennard can 
have on minority business development in the telecommunications 
industry cannot be underestimated. I ask my colleagues to join me in 
congratulating him on his accomplishments, and wishing him much success 
in a complex, often controversial, and powerful role as Chairman of the 
Federal Communications Commission.
  Mr. BISHOP. Mr. Speaker, when Dr. Carter Woodson established the 
first black history observance in 1926, he had several goals in mind.
  As a historian, he wanted to make American history as accurate and as 
complete as possible. As an African-American who worked his way up from 
poverty to become a renowned teacher, writer and scholar, he wanted to 
give black people, particularly young people, a better sense of their 
heritage and a more hopeful vision of their own future and the 
country's future.
  These goals are being fulfilled. Americans everywhere recognize that 
African-Americans have made substantial contributions in the sciences, 
in exploration, in business, in education, in the arts, in politics and 
government, in entertainment and sports, in the military, in religion, 
in citizenship, in every endeavor that has made our country what it is.
  As we observe Black History Month, I would like to recognize several 
African-Americans from the area of middle and south Georgia that I have 
the honor of representing who have achieved greatness--greatness not 
only because they have been extraordinarily successful in their own 
lives, but because they have reached out and uplifted many others.
  One of these Georgians is Apostle Isaiah Revills, a man of great 
stature physically who is also a giant spiritually. He was born in 
Moultrie, Georgia, in humble circumstances, 66 years ago, and was 
called to the ministry at age 21. Since then, he has extended his 
ministry in tent crusades throughout the United States and has preached 
in Africa, Israel, Haiti and much of the world. He attracts thousands 
to his services at the First Albany Deliverance Cathedral in Albany, 
Georgia. He has been named one of Georgia's 10 most prominent black 
pastors and has been honored by governors, legislators, mayors and 
members of Congress. But most of all, his positive, visionary ministry 
has changed the lives of thousands and thousands of God's children.
  Brady Keys, Jr., a native of Austin, Texas who attended Colorado 
State on a football scholarship and went on to become an all-pro 
defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is now a businessman in 
Albany, Georgia who oversees an empire that includes restaurant 
outlets, hair styling salons, a steel company, real estate, oil and 
coal interests, and a vending company. He was the first African 
American to own and operate a franchise company. His firm, The Keys 
Group Company, is ranked as one of the largest black-owned businesses 
in the country. He has served in many leadership positions, including 
membership on President Nixon's Advisory Council on Minority Business 
Enterprise. His greatest success story, however, is the opportunities 
he has given to young people. He has hired and trained more than 
150,000 youth, giving many their first real job opportunity.
  John R. Harris was an educator who stayed close to home, serving as a 
teacher and principal for 40 years in his native Early County Georgia--
19 years as principal of Early County Middle School in Blakely. He has 
been an inspiration to thousands of young people and a leader in his 
community for many years. He has served with the Chamber of Commerce, 
worked on literacy projects, and served as a gubernatorial appointee on 
the Georgia Agrirama Development Authority, which has meant so much to 
his area of Georgia. In 1981, the Early County Board of Education named 
and dedicated the Middle School Media Center in his honor in 
recognition of the many contributions he has made to the community.
  America has produced many heroes. They are not limited to any race, 
or creed, or national background. We find examples of greatness among 
all people in this patchwork of cultures that has become the strongest, 
freest, and most productive nation the world has ever known Black 
History Month gives us an opportunity to learn from their lives.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in honor of Black History Month for 
1998. I would like to thank the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Stokes] for 
arranging this special order.
  It is appropriate at this time that we call to mind the outstanding 
black men and women who have contributed so much to our national 
prosperity. Many of these men and women are

[[Page H426]]

yet to be properly recognized in history texts, and as we approach the 
next millennium we must continually work towards correcting this great 
injustice, and towards acknowledging the role African Americans have 
played in making America the great nation that it is today.
  For example, Crispus Attucks, a free black man of Boston, Mass., was 
the first American to die for the revolutionary cause. After we 
achieved our national independence, a black man by the name of Benjamin 
Banneker was an integral planner in the lay-out of the Capital city, 
working to assist and expand upon the ideas of Pierre L'Enfant.
  In our nation's fight to achieve civil rights and equality black men 
and women always took a leadership role. In the late nineteenth 
century--when our nation stood divided, and many black slaves were 
being massacred as examples to their peers--heroes such as Harriet 
Tubman and Sojourner Truth organized the underground railroad, leading 
thousands of black men and women to freedom, and ensuring that the 
lives of those murdered were not spent in vain.
  When the Civil War was brought to its end, and racial discrimination 
was de jure abolished, black leaders such as Frederick Douglass and 
W.E.B. DuBois fought to bring discrimination to its de facto 
conclusion, speaking out against the hypocritical, racist Jim Crow laws 
of the South.
  These heroic pioneers of the civil rights movement brought about a 
new way of thinking in our nation. In the twenty-first century the 
movement reached epic proportions, and the goals of national equality 
and non-discrimination were further advanced through the heroic actions 
of black men and women.
  As Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional major 
league baseball, Marian Anderson became a symbol of equality in the 
world of music. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opened the public's eyes to 
the horrors of racial discrimination through his policy of ``peaceful 
demonstration,'' and inspired our hearts through his ideas of American 
unity and brotherhood. Mrs. Rosa Parks became a symbolic hero around 
which an entire nation rallied when she refused to move ``to the back 
of the bus.''
  In modern-day America, the barriers which once separated black men 
and women from pursuing their dreams have virtually disappeared. The 
worlds of entertainment, politics, scholarship, sports, arts and 
literature have all been significantly improved by the contributions of 
African Americans. Men and women such as Dr. Mae C. Jemison, our first 
female astronaut; Akua Lezli Hope, a poet and Amnesty International 
leader; Zora Neale Hurston, anthropologist; and William Brown, the 
mayor of San Francisco, are the modern day pioneers who lead our nation 
towards the twenty-first century in the hopes of full racial equality.
  Black History Month is also an appropriate time to look forward, and 
as we pause to recall and recite the actions of the innumerable black 
men and women who changed our Nation's policies and attitudes, we must 
also remind ourselves to look ahead, and vow to work harder towards 
resolving the struggle for equality which persists not only in the 
United States but also abroad.
  Our society's strength is a direct result of its great diversity. It 
is this diversity which we rightfully honor today and all throughout 
this month. I urge my colleagues and all Americans to recognize the 
contributions African Americans have made to our nation.
  Mr. McINTYRE. Mr. Speaker, during the month of February our great 
Nation's schools, businesses, churches, and civic organizations are 
making a special effort to proclaim the importance of African-Americans 
to this Nation's progress and success.
  We make this special effort for two fundamentally important reasons:
  First, Black people of this Nation have suffered unfairly through 
generations of slavery and oppression. Today, I am grateful that we are 
working together to ensure that all people are treated equally, both in 
word and deed.
  The second reason we mark this time with Black History Month is that 
African-Americans have made substantive and vitally important 
contributions to this Nation's progress and success. Quite simply, we 
would be much diminished as a nation if it were not for the hard work, 
insight, activism, leadership, and excellence found within the African-
American community.
  At the base of the Statue of Freedom on the Capitol Dome in 
Washington is the Latin phrase ``E Pluribus Unum''--Out of many, one. 
This motto expresses very simply the key to success for our great 
Nation. Out of the many citizens of the United States, we must come 
together to form one America. Building a united America is vital to the 
success of our great democracy.
  This phrase--``Out of many, one''--is also a great challenge. If we 
meet the challenge to build a better America, we must face three very 
important questions:
  How should we unite as a people?
  What is our purpose in seeking a united American people?
  And what kind of partnership do we need to achieve our purpose?

           people: recognizing what is important for america

  President Woodrow Wilson, who led our Nation during the first half of 
this century, has a message for us as we enter the 21st century:

       It was . . . an historical accident . . . that this great 
     country was called the ``United States;'' yet, I am very 
     thankful that it has the word `United' in its title, and the 
     man who seeks to divide man from man, group from group, 
     interest from interest in this great Union is striking at its 
     very heart!

  His words remind us that people matter and that we are doomed as a 
nation if we allow one race to oppress the other.
  However, unity has not always been the case in America. For too long, 
issues of unfair treatment have divided the citizens of the United 
States. If we are to ever be united in the good sense of the word, we 
must ensure that all individuals, regardless of race, share the same 
rights and are granted equal protection under the law.
  The African American people--whose heritage we celebrate here and 
now--have fought long and hard for fair treatment and equal opportunity 
while working to make a better united America.
  The great Black leader Frederick Douglas was right when he said, 
``Liberty given is never so precious as liberty sought for and fought 
for.'' The founders fought for their freedom from Britain during the 
American Revolution, but they left the American people less than 
totally free. It is up to us to work for liberty for all people in this 
Nation. To accept anything less diminishes the greatness of our Nation.
  As your federal representative in Washington, I want to tell you 
about several important pieces of legislation that I am cosponsoring 
that will provide long overdue recognition to the African-American 
community. Recognition of the varied and numerous contributions of the 
African-American people to this country is crucial to achieving our 
goal of unity and understanding the complete--not partial--history of 
our Nation's African-American citizens.
  H.R. 773, the National African-American Museum Act, seeks to remember 
the people who have shaped this country's history. This bill would 
authorize the establishment of the National African-American Museum 
within the Smithsonian Institution and thereby provide a center for 
scholarship and location for exhibits related to African-American art, 
history, and culture.
  That museum will be a wonderful starting point for recognizing and 
respecting the African-American people and their history of suffering 
and accomplishment.
  Consider the impact African-Americans have had in politics and civil 
rights. Of course, Blacks have always been politically active. Today, 
we should call special attention to Blacks who serve their Nation 
and communities in ways unimaginable one hundred years or even fifty 
years ago. Blacks now serve in unprecedented numbers in elected and 
appointed positions at all levels of government. In our Congressional 
district, several black leaders have served on the city council, school 
board, board of county commissioners, community college board members, 
state board of transportation, numerous other state boards and 
commissions, state legislature, and in government positions at all 
levels, including Congress, for many years with distinction. The civil 
rights advances in our nation could not have been made without these 
fine citizens. We must recognize the importance Blacks have in shaping 
our political lives.

  We should also recognize Blacks for their contributions to advancing 
American science and technology. Blacks have been vitally important 
inventors and scientists from our nation's earliest days. Did you know 
that Onesimus, a black slave, was experimenting with smallpox vaccines 
in the 1720s? This pioneer of modern medicine was followed by others 
such as Dr. Charles Drew, who engineered blood transfusions; and Samuel 
Kountz, who made kidney transplants more successful. Elijah McCoy's 
perfection of the locomotive engine led to people saying they wanted 
his product--not some cheap imitation. They wanted ``the real McCoy''--
a saying which became popular in society for those who want the real 
thing, the best there is! In technology, Blacks have invented the 
incandescent light bulb, truck refrigeration, polymer fabrics, and 
automated manufacturing machines used in making shoes, telephones, and 
other items essential to our daily lives. In space, Lt. Colonel Guion 
Bluford was the first Black to fly in space. Hoping to advance human 
sciences, astronaut Ronald McNair tragically died in the Challenger 
shuttle explosion. These individuals and many many other African-
Americans must be fully recognized for their contributions to American 
  Once we recognize African-Americans for their accomplishments, we 
must respect them

[[Page H427]]

as valuable contributors to American society. In North Carolina, the 
African-American community emerged from the shadows of slavery to 
quickly take positions in government, education, entertainment, and 
  Take, for example, two North Carolinians who should have our respect. 
First, in the early 1900s Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown founded a school 
for African-American children. Although she was attacked and oppressed 
with Jim Crow laws, her faith in God and her commitment to her 
community gave her the strength to ensure that her school, known as the 
Palmer Institute, educated Black children in the sciences, language, 
and culture. She received many honors, and was a friend of Eleanor 
Roosevelt, W.E.B. DuBouis, Booker T. Washington, and other leaders of 
the day. I have nothing but respect for people like Dr. Hawkins, who 
spend their lives committed to God and community.
  There is one more person who exemplifies the sort of success that we 
should respect. Hiram Rhoades Revels is especially significant to me 
for three reasons. First, he committed his life to God and proclaiming 
the truth of the Christian Gospel. Second, he was born in Fayetteville, 
North Carolina, only 30 miles from where I was born. Third, he was the 
first Black member of the United States Congress. It is remarkable that 
his adult life spanned the Civil War, Reconstruction, and ended in 1901 
during the Progressive Era. He was a true pioneer of American political 
  All the people I have mentioned today--the scientists, teachers, 
inventors, politicians, and every African-American--should be respected 
members of our Nation. And they would make wonderful additions to our 
nation's official African-American museum.

                 Purpose: Living Up To America's Ideals

  As we have seen, it is critically important that we work to make 
America a united country of diverse people. Yet it is also important 
that our work have a worthy purpose. We cannot satisfy ourselves with a 
united America that fails to live up to our guiding ideals.
  As the great American President Abraham Lincoln told the nation at 
Gettysburg in 1863, ``we are here highly resolved that these dead shall 
not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new 
birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for 
the people, shall not perish from the earth.''
  In the 133 years since the end of slavery in America, all of the 
races in America have had to confront the struggles and successes of a 
nation working to better itself in difficult times. We joined together 
to defeat the racist rulers of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and 
African Americans were emboldened to insist that America live up to our 
  On September 25, 1957, nine African-American children pioneered the 
civil rights movement by voluntarily integrating the all-white high 
school in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am pleased to be a cosponsor of H.R. 
2560, which seeks to award the Congressional Gold Medal to each of 
those nine brave souls.
  Later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led the mass civil 
rights movement that gave us a chance to redeem our nation's soul by 
embracing freedom and opportunity instead of hate and oppression. Our 
nation's ideals made Dr. King love America. He often spoke about the 
``great glory of America, with all its faults.'' On the night before 
his assassination, Dr. King prophetically said, ``Like anybody, I would 
like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not 
concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's 
allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've 
seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to 
know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land . . .'' 
Today we remain committed to fulfilling Dr. King's dream of reaching 
the promised land--a land where all citizens regardless of their race--
are treated equally. We have come a long way in reaching this land, but 
we still have a long way to go.

  Today, we live in a country where African Americans are narrowing the 
gaps in salaries and education between themselves and the majority of 
Americans. Today, African-American employment is at its highest level 
in history, and African-American poverty is at its lowest in history. 
Yet black people still earn about 40% less than most whites, 
unemployment for blacks is still about twice the level for whites, and 
fewer blacks graduate from college than whites of similar backgrounds.
  Clearly, we must stay true to America's purpose because we still have 
work to do.

                 partnership: building a better america

  Once we recognize the importance of the African-American people, we 
must continue to live up to America's purpose. But our great Nation's 
purpose will never be realized unless we enter into partnership with 
one another to build a better America.
  A partnership can be a powerful and positive influence on our lives 
when it is between people who are able to bring their own unique gifts 
to our nation's progress. God has given the people of this nation a 
mission to prove to men and women throughout the world that people of 
different races and ethnic backgrounds can not only work and live 
together, but can enrich and ennoble both themselves and our common 
  In the 7th Congressional district, we have the great opportunity to 
bring into partnership all the different peoples who live here: African 
and Native Americans, new immigrants, and whites. Together--and there 
are over a half million citizens in this district--we can make a real 
difference in America's future.
  With a strong people, a guiding purpose, and a powerful partnership, 
we can create better schools, better families, and better jobs for 
  My very first job while in college was a delivery boy for a black-
owned business, Wesley's Florist, in Lumberton. Not only did I need 
that job, I found that being the only white employee required a special 
partnership between me and his family!
  When I was a student at Lumberton Senior High School, I worked in 
partnership to help the first black female be elected as president of 
the student body.
  I have had the honor to coach black boys and girls on local sports 
teams and to work with children of all races as a volunteer in the 
schools for the last 17 years.
  The first person I hired on my congressional staff was a black woman. 
Why? Because she was the most experienced caseworker on Capitol Hill 
that I knew, and she deserved it!
  Today, as your Congressman, I know full well how powerful 
partnerships can be. That is why I am fighting to recognize the 
importance of African-Americans, working to build better schools, and 
striving to bring fair treatment and economic security to every 
American in our district.
  Education and the best public schools possible are at the foundation 
of our efforts to build a lasting and positive partnership for America. 
That is why I am committing my time and energy in Washington and at 
home in North Carolina to better schools, better teachers, and better 
opportunities for our students. I have cosponsored:
  HR 1154 The Partnership to Rebuild America's Schools Act. This bill 
would provide $77.1 million for school construction in North Carolina. 
Our district would be eligible to receive nearly $21 million. The money 
would go toward paying up to 50% of the interest on school bonds.
  I am also an original Cosponsor of the State Infrastructure Bank Act. 
This legislation would establish State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs) for 
school construction. The proposal is based on the SIBs for the 
transportation program established through the National Highway System 
Act during the 104th Congress and is also similar to the widely 
successful State Revolving Funds (SRFs) used for Clean Water Act and 
Safe Drinking Water Act infrastructure improvements.

  The Computer Donation Incentive Act, HR 1278, will allow companies to 
donate computer equipment and software, as well as training related 
thereto, to elementary and secondary schools for use in their 
educational programs. It will also allow donations to organizations 
that work with the disabled. This bill is designed to provide an 
incentive for businesses to donate equipment to local public schools.
  I also supported HR 2264, the bill that appropriates funds for 
Education programs. Impact Aid was funded at $796 million, $66 million 
more than FY 1997. $1.1 BILLION for education reform programs. $531 
million in block grants for Safe and Drug-Free Schools Programs. Over 
$1.5 BILLION for higher education programs such-as work study and Pell 
Grants. $435 million for Education Technology programs and installing 
computers in our schools.
  On November 3, 1997, I hosted parents, teachers, school 
administrators, and local leaders at a summit entitled ``Successful 
Schools for the 21st Century.'' Three themes that focus our attention 
on critically important factors in education--commitment, construction, 
and computers--were highlighted.
  I am excited about what the future holds for our district and our 
schools. But we should not lose sight of schools and colleges as places 
where we learn about character and values. Respect, responsibility, and 
hard work are all things that our schools can help us better understand 
and experience. In fact, the concern and commitment required for 
success, which begins in our families, should be nurtured in our 
  With God's help, we can not only share His love, but also have His 
strength: to continue to recognize and respect our country's unique 
people, to re-commit ourselves to America's purpose, and to work 
together in partnership for a better future.
  Will you join me in respecting America's people?
  Will you join me in living up to America's purpose?
  Will you join me in the partnership for a better America?

[[Page H428]]

  Together, we can take the steps toward a 21st century full of 
appreciation and hope. Much has already been done; however, I am sure 
you know that much more must be done.
  And may we remember the words from Abraham Lincoln's last great 
speech--his second inaugural address--when he tells us even today:

       With malice toward none, with charity for all, with 
     firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let 
     us strive on to finish to work we are in, to bind up the 
     nation's wounds . . . to do all which may achieve and cherish 
     a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all 

  I appreciate and commend each of you for your leadership within the 
African-American community, and I want to challenge you to never forget 
how great this democracy is. It is up to us to reach beyond our 
differences and pain and hold on to the strength to stand for what is 
right and what is good so that we are truly united. May God bless and 
strengthen us all. By his help, we will not fail!
  Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, it is once again an honor for me to take part 
in this Special Order for African-American History Month. I know I join 
with every American in this continuing effort to educate both ourselves 
and our children about African-American culture and history.
  One of the most underappreciated segments of American history are the 
scientific achievements by African-Americans. For the past one hundred 
years, African-Americans have made crucial inventions in engineering, 
performed great scientific feats, and have served as inspirations to 
all Americans through their perseverance and determination, yet such 
accomplishments go widely unnoticed.
  One of those inventors was Granville Woods. Mr. Woods was a great 
electrician and inventive genius who developed and patented a system 
for overhead electric conducting lines for railroads, which aided in 
the development of the overhead railroad system found in contemporary 
metropolitan cities such as Chicago, St. Louis and New York City.
  As well, in the late 1800's Woods patented the Synchronous Multiplex 
Railway Telegraph, which allowed train stations as well as moving 
trains to know each others whereabouts. Train accidents and collisions 
were causing great concern at the time because train stations had no 
way of tracking their moving trains. This invention made train 
movements quicker and prevented countless accidents and collisions.
  Garrett Morgan, who was born in 1875, also deserves wide recognition 
for his outstanding contributions to public safety. Firefighters in 
many cities in the early 1900's wore the safety helmet and gas mask 
that he invented. The gas mask Morgan invented in 1912 was used during 
World War I to protect soldiers from chlorine gas fumes.
  In 1923, Morgan received a patent for his new concept, a traffic 
signal to regulate vehicle movement in city areas. It is impossible to 
overestimate the importance of this event to our country's history. 
This single invention helped bring order out of the chaos of regulating 
pedestrian and vehicle traffic on city streets.
  In more recent times, Dr. Mae Jemison was our nation's fifth African-
American astronaut, and the first African-American female astronaut. In 
August 1992, she participated in a successful joint U.S. and Japanese 
science mission that made her the first African-American woman in 
space. Dr. Jemison's perseverance and success as as astronaut should 
serve as an inspiration to all Americans.
  Mr. Speaker, when we honor great achievements in science by African-
Americans, we inspire the next generation of Americans to achieve great 
things. I hope that all of our young people take a moment during 
African-American History month to reflect on what they can do in their 
communities and in their lives to make a difference.

                             General Leave

  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on 
the Special Order regarding Black History Month.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Gilchrest). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Ohio?
  There was no objection.