**FILE** Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (Courtesy photo)
**FILE** Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (Courtesy photo)

As 2022 closed, Black Americans saw gains with historic candidates and timely legislation.

President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act and later, the Respect for Marriage Act, which protected interracial marriages.

A slim majority in Congress prevented other significant bills from reaching the president’s desk.

As Black History Month begins, there remain key issues that African Americans want to see happen.

A December poll of Black voters revealed that African Americans want the government to do more to fight white supremacy.

The FBI helped underscore that need when it issued a report noting that hate crimes disproportionately target African Americans.

With mass shootings continuing at a record pace, gun control remains a hot-button issue for Black America.

Further, many Black voters have suggested strong desires for a comprehensive voting rights package, whether that’s in the form of the Freedom to Vote Act, or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

The former would expand mail-in and early voting and automatic voter registration, while the latter would restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

And, following the brutal killing of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Tennessee police officers, African Americans have continued to voice outrage over the failure of lawmakers to pass the George Floyd Justice in Police Act. While the bill has twice passed the House, the measure has stalled in the Senate despite a Democrat majority there.

The legislation would end qualified immunity, which many believe would greatly curtail the type of police behavior that led to the deaths of Nichols, Floyd, and so many other African Americans.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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