H.R. 40 will address the question of slavery and its impact on African Americans, says Congresswoman Lee, as reparations bill gains traction

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee holds a copy of a UN refugee agency report calling for the United States to keep unaccompanied immigrant minors safe, during a press conference at the New Covenant Baptist Church in Houston, Sunday, July 6, 2014, in Houston. ( Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle )
US Congresswoman Jackson Lee: US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat from Texas, believes that finally the votes for the passage of the Bill to create a commission to study reparations for African Americans are intact.

US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat from Texas, believes that finally the votes for the passage of the Bill to create a commission to study reparations for African Americans are intact.

After several attempts at it, Congresswoman Jackson Lee declared. “This has been a 30-plus year journey,” “We had to take a different approach. We had to go one by one to members explaining this does not generate a check.”

Congresswoman Jackson Lee said this week that there’s now enough votes in the House for passage of the historic piece of legislation, the H.R. 40 Bill.

If the measure passes and ultimately becomes law, it will create a commission that would hold hearings with testimony from those who support and oppose the idea.

“Reparations is about repair and when you repair the damage that has been done, you do so much to move a society forward. This commission can be a healing process. Telling the truth can heal America,” she said.

If the Senate doesn’t join the House in passing the bill, the congresswoman said she and others would push President Biden to sign an executive order to create the commission.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee recently reflected on the long-overdue redress to African descendants of slaves.

While praising the resiliency of Black Americans, Congresswoman Jackson Lee declared: “I want to give credit to the giants that were and are Black Americans. They are giants.”

“I want to give credit to the everyday mom and dad who get up every day and get to work and provide for their family. I’m going to give those who came up on the farms or stayed on the farm and raised nine and ten and twelve children,” she reflected.

The Congresswoman continued, “I want to give them the honor that they deserve, and that is to recognize the insurmountable odds that some of them had and how they continue to plant seeds of respect and dignity in their children.

“Has anyone addressed the question of slavery and its comprehensive impact on Black Americans in this country? This is what H.R. 40 will do.”

While H.R. 40 doesn’t place a monetary value on reparations, it does focus on truth, racial healing, and transformation. The purpose of the Bill is to create a commission to study and develop proposals for providing reparations to African Americans.

The commission’s mission includes identifying the role of federal and state governments in supporting the institution of slavery, forms of discrimination in public and private sectors against freed slaves and their descendants, and lingering adverse effects of slavery on living African Americans and society.

The Congresswoman is further encouraged by the support of the most co-sponsors (166) in the bill’s history, which dates back decades to former Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr., of Michigan, who first introduced the legislation in 1969.



  1. Although it is said to have no monetary value , this is a huge step towards making amends for the past wrongs of slavery as it will lead to positive incentives on reparations when the commission is established. Hopefully the bill is addressed as suppose and passed into law. A good piece !


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