Congressman Al Green recently hosted the inaugural Slavery Remembrance Day Breakfast and Legislative Update for the Houston community.
Green sponsored H.R. 517, the Original Slavery Remembrance Day, which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in late July. The bill proposes to designate August 20 as Slavery Remembrance Day because on that day in 1619, the White Lion ship arrived to Point Comfort, near present-day Norfolk, Va, carrying the first enslaved Africans brought to the English-speaking American colonies.
Green’s resolution has over 130 co-sponsors in Congress and has gathered support from pastors and organizations nationwide, including the National Action Network, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Anti-Defamation League.
“This morning, some 400 years after slavery was first introduced in the United States, hundreds of people––including pastors, local elected officials, and community activists––came together to commemorate the lives of enslaved people while condemning the act and perpetuation of slavery in the United States,” said Green during the event. “I am exceedingly grateful for the outpouring of support that my efforts to establish a National Day of Remembrance for slavery have received. One day, people will look back through the vista of time and realize the difference that today’s historic event made in the lives of people across the length and breadth of our nation.”
Green noted that national days of remembrance are opportunities for society to commemorate those impacted by horrific events, as well as prevent tragedies from fading from our memory.
“The U.S. currently has remembrance days for the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, and 9/11. But at the moment, it does not have an official day of remembrance to honor the millions of African persons who were abducted and shipped to the Americas to be sold as property as part of the Atlantic Slave Trade,” added Green.