Celebrating the Past and the Future in DC

Black politicos from both sides of the aisle marked the last week of Black History Month in grand style.

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    Former Democratic Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois, former Democratic Sen. William “Mo” Cowan of Massachusetts, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and former Democratic Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois (Nicole Venable/The Root)

    The polar vortex couldn’t stop Washington, D.C.’s movers and shakers from marking the end of Black History Month 2014 in style. The Root’s D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, went behind the scenes at three events—including the one shown here, “Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Future,” featuring former and current black senators—that celebrated leadership, diversity and history.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Linking History to Future Generations

    On Feb. 22 Margot James Copeland (third from left), national president of the Links, presented the Links Foundation’s fourth legacy grant to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The donation was the first from an African-American organization to the museum at the $1 million level. From left: Teree Caldwell-Johnson, director of philanthropy for the Links; Links National Vice President Glenda Newell-Harris; Copeland; founding museum Director Lonnie G. Bunch III; and Eris T. Sims, executive director of the Links.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Historic Moment

    On Feb. 25 Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) hosted a panel discussion at the Library of Congress called “Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Future” with five current or former African-American U.S. senators. (There have been a total of nine in U.S. history.) The senators shared personal stories of the challenges they had attaining the office and remarked about life as an African-American senator. From left: Barry C. Black, 62nd chaplain of the U.S. Senate; former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois; former Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois; Scott; former Sen. William “Mo” Cowan of Massachusetts; and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Diversity in the GOP

    Former Republican House staffer Elroy Sailor (left) at the black senators’ panel discussion with his mentor former Republican Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma and former Republican Senate staffer Kimani Little.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Lincoln Legacy

    Former Democratic Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois, who was appointed to the seat vacated by President Barack Obama, with The Root’s D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, at the black senators’ panel discussion.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Bicameral Bridges

    Former Sen. Roland Burris, former Democratic Sen. William “Mo” Cowan of Massachusetts, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and former Democratic Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois at the black senators’ panel discussion.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    A Leading Voice

    On Feb. 26 A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, provided the welcome message for the fifth annual Avoice Heritage Celebration and spoke about the need to preserve the legislative history of African Americans serving in Congress.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Island Dreaming

    Steve Steele, Washington representative for the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands; Donna Christensen, Virgin Islands delegate to Congress; and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, at the CBCF Avoice Heritage Celebration.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    New York State of Mind

    Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) with the National Education Association’s Tiffany Cross during the CBCF Avoice Heritage Celebration.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    A Freshman Star

    Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) has already made her mark as a rising star of the congressional freshman class. She’s shown here with The Root’s D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, who served on the planning committee for the Avoice Heritage Celebration.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Celebrating Diversity and Leadership

    The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gave awards to former Democratic Rep. Eva M. Clayton of North Carolina (fifth from right, with pearls and her hands crossed), Comcast NBCUniversal and the LBJ Presidential Library for their contributions to preserving the legacy of African Americans serving in Congress.

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