Testimony During 1st Congressional Hearing On Reparations Yields Heavy Emotion

Posted on in Fresh Gems

Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing at Capitol Hill on Wednesday (June 19) to talk about the “legacy the trans-Atlantic slave trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice.”

As reported by CNN, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover testified before the House panel.

During the hearing, the panel discussed H.R. 40, legislation that would “establish a commission to study the consequences and impacts slavery and make recommendations for reparations proposals.”

On Tuesday (June 18), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell caused an uproar when he said reparations aren’t a “good idea,” something Rep. Jerry Nadler addressed with Coates.

In what was an undeniably eloquent response, Coates outlined how slavery still impacts African-Americans today.

The last time Congress held a hearing on the topic reparations was 2007, but the idea has recently gained new traction.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) sponsored the resolution earlier this year and advocated for this week’s hearing, while Speaker the House Nancy Pelosi hinted her support in February during an event at Howard University.

“While we have focused on the social effects slavery and segregation, its continuing economic implications remain largely ignored by mainstream analysis,” Pelosi said.

June 19, which is also referred to as Juneteenth or Emancipation Day, is particularly important because it celebrates the end slavery.

On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger the Union Army finally notified slaves their emancipation more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had been written and read.

Juneteenth started in Texas and is the oldest known U.S. celebration the end slavery. There are 46 states with laws pertaining to Juneteenth. In fact, Pennsylvania on Wednesday became the latest state to ficially recognize the day.

Twitter has exploded with reactions to the hearing. Check some them out below.