February is Black History Month. At HAC, we observe this important time by reflecting on the history of Black Americans and the contributions they’ve made to our communities for more than 400 years . Black history matters. Tragically, just as America has silenced and ignored Black voices, we have omitted Black history.
Even today, we often leave Black Americans out of our conception of rural America. Racial minorities represent 23% of rural America, yet they make up almost 60% of the population of rural counties with persistent poverty. These are the communities HAC serves, and we stand steadfast in our commitment to them. Every day, our work helps the most underserved rural communities meet their housing needs.
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the founders of Black History Month, have named this February’s theme to be The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. While community developers build houses, it’s families that make them into homes. Our work has supported Black families build community and access the safe, affordable housing they deserve for decades.
We’re excited to take this month to celebrate Black families and their contributions to rural America. This month, we’ll be highlighting our work with Black communities and sharing more about our ongoing commitment to them. For 50 years, HAC has helped build homes in the most rural and poorest places in America. Our work is driven by a commitment to making the more just and equitable world we dream of. Still, there is much work to be done to realize that dream of true equity and justice. We hope you’ll join us in that work.