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WASHINGTON (AP) — The topic of reparations for slavery is headed to Capitol Hill for its first hearing in more than a decade with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover set to testify before a House panel.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is scheduled to hold the next Wednesday, its stated purpose “to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice.” The date of the hearing, June 19, coincides with Juneteenth, a cultural holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved blacks in America.

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Former Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the longtime sponsor of House Resolution 40, first proposed the measure calling for a study of reparations in 1989. Conyers reintroduced the bill every session until his resignation in 2017.

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the resolution’s new sponsor, introduced it earlier this year and pushed for next week’s hearing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in February that she supports a reparations study, a topic that hasn’t been the subject of a House hearing since 2007.

Reparations had been a fringe issue and occasional punchline until Coates’ 2014 essay in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” thrust the topic back into the national discourse. Glover, an activist as well as the star of the “Lethal Weapon” movies and the classics “The Color Purple” and “A Rage in Harlem,” has spoken in favor of the issue for years.

In an interview with Coates as he prepared to leave office, President Barack Obama questioned the implementation of reparations, but not the concept. And in a conversation Coates had earlier this year with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the popular progressive endorsed reparations.

The reparations debate became part of the 2020 presidential race early, as several Democratic presidential primary candidates signaled their support for compensating the descendants of slaves, though not in the traditional sense of direct payouts to black Americans. Most have been vague on more specific ideas, but they have instead offered policies addressing economic inequality that could disproportionately benefit blacks.

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8 thoughts on “House Hearing On Reparations Set For Next Week

  1. Christianforreal on said:

    The United States CAN NOT afford to pay Blacks what it owes us. And Jhuf, your ignorance is showing!! You’re right, it’s likely that all FORMER slaves are deceased. However, the article specifically addressed the descendants of slaves. One doesn’t have to have a victim mentally to want and deserve what’s owed to him/her. This country took and continues to take from anyone that it deems inferior. Look around you, my ignorant friend, other than the reservations that the government sanctioned to the original natives of this country, the white man claimed EVERYTHING else in a land where he came in as the immigrant. And had the nerve to demand that any race that wasn’t his own, build it up for the white man’s pleasure and fortune.

    • jhuf on said:

      Well my clueless plantation negg@, what are the decedents of long dead slaves deserving of? and who are they should a son receive (reparations) payments from his dead fathers SS checks? and yes you are a prime example of the welfare black man hand-out mentality “I deserve something from someones labor (i damn sure don’t know who they were and it was centuries ago) and speaking of taking land unless your ass is sitting in Bare Back Africa now then how about you leading by example pack your sh!t and head to that mythical land

  2. I am ALL for Reparations, give those former slaves $10 million dollars each….what’s that their all long dead and buried? Well in that case get off your ass go get a job take care of your family stop with the victim mentality bullsh!t cause yo black ass could be in Africa where just this morning the news reported 6 ebola infected detainee’s fled across the Congo boarder

  3. Possibilities is the keyword, their were those that did not have faith in freedom or any hope for a black president,it happened. A few of us are still confronting a slave mentality. The government owes us and they need to pay.

  4. The Grand Wizard and his UGLY base will NEVER agree to pay US Reparations.
    This country will NEVER PAY for what it has done to African Americans!!!!!!!!!!!
    That DEBT will NEVER be COLLECTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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