Slavery Remembrance Day Held

Dorcaus Robinson

The Houston Sun

U.S. Congressman Al Green (DTX-9) hosted the first Slavery Remembrance Day Breakfast and Legislative Update for the city of Houston on August 20, at the Community Collective, formerly known as the Power Center. Congressman Green wants August 20th to be recognized as Slavery Remembrance Day, which illuminates, informs, and recognizes the twenty enslaved Africans who were forcibly brought to the shores of what would become the United States of America over 400-years-ago. On Congressman Green’s website, it states that on August 20, 1619, the White Lion ship arrived at Point Comfort, near present-day Norfolk, Virginia, carrying the first enslaved Africans brought to the English-speaking American colonies.

This was the inaugural event in the Congressman’s effort to establish a National Day of Remembrance for slavery. Green stated, “National days of remembrance are a means to commemorate those impacted by horrific events, as well as prevent tragedies from fading from our memory. The U.S. 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 millions of African persons who were abducted and shipped to the Americas to be sold as property as part of the Atlantic Slave Trade.” President Joe Biden acknowledged Congressman Green’s efforts to recognize the significance of August 20th.

The President stated, “Great nations don’t hide from their history. They acknowledge their past, both the triumphs and the tragedies.” During the breakfast, Green informed the audience of his anti-racism agenda which would curtail the residue of systematic discrimination against descendants of slaves in the U.S. He spoke of introducing legislation that would address the inequity in lending, housing, incarceration, and healthcare as well as attempts at renaming slavery to involuntary relocation. Recently involuntary relocation and indentured servitude have become words of choice by policymakers in Texas and other states.

The Slavery Remembrance Day breakfast also honored Dr. William A. Lawson, founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, and Dr. F.N. Williams, Sr., senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Acres Home, to compound the impact of the Black church to African Americans’ experience in this country. The audience was filled with members of churches throughout the city. Congressman Al Green sponsored H.Res 517 – The Original Slavery Remembrance Day in the 117th Congress of the United States. His bill passed in the House on July 27, 2022.

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