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Gov. Carney signs Black History Month proclamation at exhibit honoring historic black sorority

Nick Ciolino / Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney signed a proclamation Monday formally recognizing February as Black History Month in the First State. 

The proclamation urges all Delawareans to observe the month of February with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities that emphasize the history and contributions of Delawareans of African descent. 

“This is not just black history. It’s Delaware history, and importantly, the contributions of African Americans to our state,” Carney said.

Carney signed the measure at the opening of a new exhibit at the Public Archives that highlights the historic black sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. 

The sorority was founded in 1913 at Howard University and marched in the women’s suffrage march of that same year. It now has about 400 chapters and more than 200,000 women have joined.

Dr. Reba Hollingsworth is a member of the sorority and the 93-year-old personally knew several of its founders. She says she appreciates Gov. Carney’s proclamation. 

“My hope is that black history will become incorporated in all the history classes in the state of Delaware,” said Hollingsworth. “When that happens, I’ll be very happy.”        

The Delta Sigma Theta exhibit at the Public Archives offers a history of the sorority with books, photographs and newspaper clippings. It will be up in the lobby for the next few months.

“It’s, for me, very important, because we don’t really know our history, and you don’t know our history at all, and so in order for us to learn about each other then we need to do everything we possibly can to learn and if it’s not written then ask us,” said Hollingsworth.      

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