As Black History Month unfolds, America250 wants to introduce you to some of the leaders behind the multi-year effort to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Congressman Dwight Evans represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Northwest and West Philadelphia and parts of North, South, Southwest and Center City Philadelphia. He made history in 1990 when he became the first African-American chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee, a position he held for two decades. He currently serves on the Ways and Means Committee, including its Subcommittee on Health. A longtime resident of the West Oak Lane neighborhood, he is a graduate of Germantown High School, the Community College of Philadelphia, and LaSalle University.

Meet Congressman Dwight Evans

Why did you want to join the America250 Commission?

As a lifelong Philadelphian, I’m proud of the central role that my city played as the birthplace of the United States, and I want to make sure the celebration is fitting for this important anniversary.


What do you want people to take away from the Semiquincentennial?

That we all have a role to play in maintaining and improving the democracy that we have inherited, especially by voting. At the end of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin is reported to have told a Philadelphian who asked what form of government  we would have: “A republic, if you can keep it.” We can all do our part to keep the republic for ourselves and the next generation.

Why should Black Americans participate in the anniversary celebration?

Black history is American history! African Americans have played an integral role in our nation from the start, including in my home city of Philadelphia, the birthplace of the United States!


What is a fun fact about yourself?

I have the same name as a retired great from the Red Sox, who played in another city that claims to be the birthplace of the United States.