On February 28, 2017, Congressman Robert C. Bobby Scott introduced legislation in support of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia in 1619. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and Mark Warner introduced this bill in the senate. This bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 1, 2017 and U.S. Senate on December 21, 2017. This historic bill became a reality with fifty-three co-sponsors, bi-partisan support and constituency engagement.
I’ve been lucky to be a part of federal commissions that were established to study and celebrate English and Hispanic history, and there is no reason a similar one shouldn’t exist to celebrate the contributions of Africans and African Americans to our history, said Senator Kaine.
This commission will mark 400 years of rich African American history, including both the immeasurable contributions of African Americans to our diverse culture and their resilience in the face of injustice during slavery and in the decades of racial discrimination that have ensued, said Senator Warner.
Plan programs to acknowledge the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had on the United States;encourage civic, patriotic, historical, educational, artistic, religious, and economic organizations to organize and participate in anniversary activities; assist states, localities, and nonprofit organizations to further the commemoration; and coordinate for the public scholarly research on the arrival of Africans in the United States and their contributions to this country; to recognize and highlight the resilience and contributions of African-Americans since 1619.
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