On June 19, 2019, Congress held historic hearings on HR 40 – a bill to authorize the creation of a commission to study the issue and make recommendations to Congress about potential systems of reparations for descendants of Africans who were enslaved. On the same day, the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) held a public forum at the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D. C. The ACLU partnered with NAARC on the forum.
It’s time to have an honest, direct conversations about reparations. August will mark the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved people being sold into bondage in America. America used 246 years of enslaving millions of African Americans to enrich, develop, and create our nation. And for the last 154 years, we have avoided confronting this horrific history and its continuing legacy.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee showed leadership by re-introducing H.R. 40, a bill to establish a commission to study reparations proposals for African Americans. And this time, the nation is paying attention like never before.