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slave-1840

Advertisement for the sale of Black slaves, circa 1840

Funny how things can happen right under your nose and it totally escapes your attention. Take for example Illinois House Resolution 1011 a.k.a. HR1011. This resolution was introduced by Illinois State Representative La Shawn K. Ford (8th District) and co-sponsored by Reps. Mary Flowers (31st District), and Marcus Evans Jr. (33rd District), among others.

HR1011 which was adopted by the Illinois General Assembly on June 30, 2016 seeks to address the age old question of reparations for the descendants of African slaves. The process has been underway for quite some time and undertaken by a myriad of individuals and groups working together on the issues surrounding restorative justice.

In his address, Rep. Ford asserted “Many years ago, it was promised to slaves and the descendants of slaves that they would be repaid not only for the forced labor that helped build this country to its current greatness, but for the terror that was slavery.” In what is being called a historic vote, HR1011 passed unanimously and is the first modern day reparations passed by a state legislation calling for the federal government to intercede.

The resolution requests President Obama to commission a study to detail the economic impact of the slave trade and the use of slave labor; and how Emancipation, while freeing them of their literal bonds, and ending an immoral practice, did not guarantee equality in education, employment, housing, and access to quality affordable health care; that this study also include an analysis for how reparations for past harms have benefited the ethnic groups that have received them during the course of American history.

According to Brother Kamm Howard, President of N’COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America “This is the message the Obama administration needs to hear now and address before he leaves office.”

President Obama will be having a town hall meeting tonight called “The President and The People: A National Conversation” which will air commercial-free on ESPN and ABC, and streamed free online at Watch ESPN and Watch ABC.

If you support the idea of reparations, you can encourage the President to commission such a study by tweeting #hr1011, #reparationsmatter during the live broadcast. The show will air tonight at 7 p.m. CST.

#hr1011 & #reparationsmatter was originally published on chicagodefender.com

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