Congressman Al Green wants to posthumousy honor American slaves

U.S. Congressman Al Green of Texas has introduced legislation to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to American slaves and their descendants to honor those who contributed to building this country without getting paid for their hard work.

The proposed legislation called “The Conscience Agenda: Our Moral Imperative†includes expanding Slavery Remembrance Day, which is on August 20, when the first 13 slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, on August 20, 1619, which is now known as Fort Monroe. He said while on the floor of the House of Representatives that he also wants to establish a Department of Reconciliation.

On August 20, 2022, President Joe Biden called Slavery Remembrance Day a time to reflect on mothers and fathers whose backs this country was built on.

Rep. Green also wants to remove the late Sen. Richard Russell’s name from the Russell Senate Office Building. 

A Senator from Georgia, Russell was an opponent of civil rights and filibustered for six days in 1935 to stop an anti-lynching bill. Russell developed a reputation as the leader of the white supremacists in the Senate. He declared, “America is a White man’s country.” Although there was opposition to Russell’s name being added to the building, it caved. It was decided that Russell’s name would be removed until a new name is agreed to.

Rep. Green took a shot at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who rejected an advanced placement course on African American studies for high school students, arguing that the content is contrary to Florida Law because such a course “lacks educational value.”

The posthumous award of the Congressional Gold Medal to enslaved people and their descents has been made before. 

In 1956, Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Confederate Soldiers. 

The Congressional Gold medal was recently given to Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley, his mother, on January 5, 2023. 

The Congressional Gold Medal was also awarded to boxer Joe Louis on August 26, 1982, South Africa’s first Black president Nelson Mandela on July 29, 1988, and Major League Baseball player Roberto Clemente on May 4,1973.