South Dakota Democratic Party Statement on Black History Month


February 16, 2024

South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Shane Merrill released the following statement commemorating Black History Month:

“South Dakota Democrats celebrate Black history and the contributions made by countless Black Americans in South Dakota and throughout this country – from former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris to Mitchell’s first Black mayor L.B. Williams, Kenny Anderson who was the first African American to serve on the Sioux Falls City Commission, South Dakota African American History Museum Founder Porter Williams and the members of the South Dakota Chapter of the NAACP. Black voters, organizers, and communities across this state are critical voices in our democracy, and while we’ve made so much progress, we know that there is more work to be done and so much at stake this year.”

President Joe Biden’s leadership has led to historically low unemployment amongst Black Americans, Black wealth is up by 60% relative to before the pandemic – the largest increase on record, Black small businesses are booming, and the Black business ownership rate more than double its pre-pandemic level.

The Biden-Harris administration has taken action to address student loan debt with over $127 billion in debt relief approved so far for nearly 3.6 million Americans, including thousands of South Dakotans. Under President Biden, more Black families have health coverage under the ACA than ever before. Through, Black enrollment is up nearly 50% since 2020.

For questions, you can contact the SDDP Executive Director Dan Ahlers at or contact the state party office by phone at 605-271-5405 or 605-940-3071.

Paid for by the South Dakota Democratic Party |