Hearing To Be Held On Reparations For First Time In More Than A Decade
Actor Danny Glover and writer Ta-Nahesi Coates set to testify.
June 13, 2019 at 7:58 pm
The topic of reparations for slavery is getting its first hearing on Capitol Hill in more than a decade, with actor Danny Glover and writer Ta-Nahesi Coates set to testify.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties' hearing is scheduled for June 19, coinciding with the cultural holiday Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of the last enslaved Blacks in America.
Glover and Coates were chosen after being outspoken advocates on the issue for years, with Coates writing an essay in The Atlantic in 2014 that put the issue back in public consciousness.
"Virtually every institution with some degree of history in America, be it public, be it private, has a history of extracting wealth and resources out of the African-American community. I think what has often been missing—this is what I was trying to make the point of in 2014—that behind all of that oppression was actually theft," Coates said in an interview with the New Yorker. "In other words, this is not just mean. This is not just maltreatment. This is the theft of resources out of that community."
The hearing will reintroduce and discuss legislation by Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee that aims to study and develop reparations for African-Americans.
"It is a holistic bill in the sense that it seeks to establish a commission to also examine the moral and social implications of slavery," Jackson Lee said in a statement in January at the bill's introduction. "In short, the Commission aims to study the impact of slavery and continuing discrimination against African-Americans, resulting directly and indirectly from slavery to segregation to the desegregation process and the present day."
The resolution was first introduced in 1989 by former Michigan representative John Conyers Jr., who went on to reintroduce the bill during every legislative session until he resigned in 2017 amid sexual harassment allegations, according to the Washington Post.
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