By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Congressman Al Green (D-Texas) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have introduced a joint resolution to designate August 20th as Slavery Remembrance Day.
“I am privileged and proud to cosponsor this resolution with the Honorable Senator Elizabeth Warren,” Congressman Green stated in a news release.
“She has a rich history of standing up for those who are not in a position to stand up for themselves. I look forward to working with her and passing this historic legislation.”
The congressman said the legacy of slavery, which he called “our nation’s seminal sin,” continues casting its shadow across America today.
“It fuels invidious discrimination even in the most unsuspecting of places and perpetuates attempts at sanitizing oppressive history in our classrooms,” Congressman Al Green stated.
“Currently, we have remembrance days for the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, and 9/11. Enshrining such events not only in our collective memories, but also among our official, collective observances, serves to remind us of atrocities that have occurred and must never be repeated. As an immoral institution, slavery is no exception.”
Congressman Al Green continued:
“This resolution proposes August 20th be designated as Slavery Remembrance Day because on that day in 1619, the first slave ship arrived on the shores of the English-speaking American colonies. This annual reminder is necessary because it teaches persons to denounce oppression while simultaneously exemplifying why it should be denounced.
“However, efforts to teach about the suffering of enslaved persons are being fought by states like Texas with its recent bill to curb how race and the history of racism are taught in schools. The Texas bill is dangerous because it limits teaching by excluding any mention of historic individuals who challenged the discriminatory status quo, such as Harriett Tubman (Araminta Ross) and John Brown. We must remember the history of slavery to avoid repeating the horrors of slavery.”
Sen. Warren stated that the horrors of slavery can never be forgotten.
“We must acknowledge the dangers and dehumanization that enslaved people faced, and honor those who led the long fight for abolition and justice,” the senator asserted.
“Today, the legacy of slavery still has pervasive impacts on the descendants of enslaved individuals in institutionalized racism, police brutality, mass incarceration, and in other forms. Representative Al Green and I are introducing this legislation to establish August 20 as Slavery Remembrance Day — an important step to ensure we never forget this stain on our country’s history.”