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Sen. Bob Menendez at an election-day canvass launch in Cherry Hill. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov)

Clyburn, Menendez headline Black History Month celebration

By Nikita Biryukov, February 24 2019 5:01 pm

House Majority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) joined U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez at the eighth annual Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Black History Month Celebration Sunday.

“We come together this afternoon to honor African Americans who throughout our history have called upon our nation to live up to its highest ideals,” Menendez said. “Together, we pay tribute to a people whose struggle for freedom made our country more free, whose drive for justice made our laws more just and whose march for equality made us all more equal.”

Clyburn and Menendez have known each other for decades. The two were part of the same class of freshmen congresspeople in 1993 and have served together since.

This year’s event honored Burlington County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president Loretta Winters, Camden County Freeholder Jonathan Young and community leader Reva Foster.

Clyburn’s keynote speech focused largely on encouraging the audience to focus on the big problems and not be waylaid by things that shouldn’t be problems.

Though, both he and Menendez did occasionally take jabs at President Donald Trump.

“We don’t have to make America great again. America is great. Our challenge is making that greatness apply fairly and equitably to all of our citizens. That is our challenge, and that’s what Black History Month is all about — bringing to our forefront the genius that lies within people irrespective of their skin color.”

Burlington County Freeholder Felicia Hopson served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

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