On Wednesday morning June 19 (Juneteenth), Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton will testify in the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties during a hearing on bill H.R. 40, which calls for a commission to be set up to “To address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery, its subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.” (see full text of bill here) The bill has 57 co-sponsors and falls under the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution and Civil Justice.
Last month, Bishop Sutton issued a pastoral letter to the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, which was followed by a resolution affirming the letter at the diocese’s annual convention. It passed unanimously and calls for deep and intentional study on the subject of reparations, as well as proposes ways in which the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland can help shape a better future through ministry programs to lessen the impact of the legacy of slavery. (See full text of letter and resources here) “The Diocese of Maryland has said ‘Yes’ to the principle of reparations,” Bishop Sutton said following the passage of the resolution.
Wednesday’s witness list includes actor Danny Glover, author Ta-Nehisi Coates, documentary maker and Episcopalian Katrina Browne, Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton, economist Julianne Malveaux, and Loyola Law School professor Eric Miller. (Listen to story on NPR news here)