This morning, the Alaska State Senate passed Senate Bill 40 permanently recognizing February as Black History month in Alaska. In recent years, resolutions were passed annually making the declaration. Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson (D-Anchorage) sponsored the legislation in February, which instantly gained bipartisan support.

"Through a bipartisan effort, Alaska will now recognize the contributions African-Americans made to this nation and Alaska on a permanent, annual basis," said Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson. "Alaska is a very diverse state, and it is important to reflect on the history of that rich diversity and celebrate it."

Black History Month has been observed annually since 1970, with this month chosen because it coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on February 12, and Frederick Douglass on February 14. It acknowledges and celebrates the often marginalized or overlooked contributions of African-Americans to all facets of American life.

Senate Bill 40 heads to the Alaska House of Representatives for consideration.

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