The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is the nation's premier organization exclusively representing and serving the interests of African American State legislators and their constituents. Our members hail from 47 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Dedicated to recognizing the impact of people of color who have historically contributed, and continue to contribute to nation building in diverse ways, the NBCSL pays tribute from time to time through the issuance of duly deserved proclamations.  The final decision to award proclamations to any individual or group is the responsibility of  NBCSL membership and is generally democratically  done at the organization's Annual Legislative Conference held each year. The following proclamations serves as a record of those rewarded.

PROCLAMATION HONORING THE LIFE AND MEMORY OF JAMES WELDON JOHNSON

Publication Date: Thursday, December 31, 2020
He was not just an influential and notable novelist, poet, and songwriter, James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was a lawyer, a United States consul in a foreign nation, and served an important role in combating racism through his position in the NAACP. In 1900, James and his brother, John, wrote the song "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," which would later become the official anthem of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  James Weldon Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida. His father was a headwaiter at a hotel and his mother was a teacher at the segregated Stanton School. Johnson grew up in a middle-class home, and his mother encouraged him to pursue an interest in reading and music. Johnson attended Stanton until he entered high school. He attended high school and college at Atlanta University. He received his bachelor’s in 1894.Introduced by State Representative  Billy Mitchell (GA), this proclamation was adopted by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) at its 44th virtual Annual Legislative Conference held in December 2020.

Proclamation Honoring the Life and Legacy of Nathan "Nearest" Green, the Godfather of Tennessee Whiskey

Publication Date: Friday, January 10, 2020
Nathan "Nearest" Green (1820 – ?), incorrectly spelled "Nearis" in an 1880 census, was a black head stiller, commonly referred to now as a master distiller. Born into slavery and emancipated after the Civil War, he is known as the master distiller who taught distilling techniques to Jack Daniel, founder of the Jack Daniel Tennessee whiskey distillery. Green was hired as the first master distiller for Jack Daniel Distillery, but not until after his death was he recognized as the first. During his time he was not given the proper titles on the account he was a black man and he was the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States.  Introduced by State Rep. Karen Camper (TN), this proclamation was adopted by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) at its 43rd Annual Legislative Conference held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, December 2019.
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