Scroll Top


Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, speaks during a meeting of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

As part of the national Black History Month celebration, the New Jersey State Senate today recognized four individuals for their contributions to the African American community and to the State of New Jersey.

“During National African American History Month, we pay tribute to the contributions of past generations and reaffirm our commitment to keeping the American dream alive for the next generation,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex, Chairman of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus. “The story of African Americans is a story of resilience and perseverance. During February of each year, we celebrate the rich legacy of African Americans and honor the remarkable contributions they have made to perfecting our Union, the State of New Jersey and our individual communities. The four individuals we honor today have each made their mark on our great state, and therefore deserve a moment for us to celebrate their influence and their achievements.”

The Senate recognized the following member of New Jersey’s African American community today on the Senate floor:

  • Paulette Brown, President-elect of the American Bar Association, the first woman of color and third African American to serve in this role;
  • Todd Robert Bowles, Head Coach for the New York Jets;
  • Cornell Williams Brooks, National President and CEO of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and
  • Theodore V. “Ted” Wells, Jr., Attorney with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, selected multiple times by the National Law Journal as one of America’s best white-collar defense attorneys.

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is celebrated across the country during February. In 1926, Negro History Week was celebrated during the second week of February, which coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass. President Ford expanded the recognition of contributions of America’s black community to the month of February in 1976.