U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. said he will re-introduce in the 113th Congress legislation that calls for a seven-member commission to study reparations for African-Americans.
“It is the most important piece of legislation I have ever introduced, and I will re-introduce HR40 in the 113th Congress,” Conyers (D., Mich.) told the 400 attendees at the “Revitalizing The Reparations Movement” conference last week at Chicago State University. The 113th Congress first met Jan. 3, 2013.
He made his comments in the wake of 14 Caribbean nations demanding reparations and apology from Britain and other European countries for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. If the countries fail to negotiate with the Caribbean nations, they will sue them in the World Court, which is located in The Hague, The Netherlands. Thus far, Sweden is the only country that has indicated a willingness to negotiate reparations.
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Introduced in 1989
Conyers said the actions by the Caribbean nations will revitalize the reparations movement in the United States. “I think it is going to be a springboard for reparations,” he said.
Conyers first introduced the legislation, titled “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act,” in 1989 during the 101th Congress. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where Conyers is the ranking member.
The eight-page piece of legislation, which was co-introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D., Va.), said the 4 million Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and colonies that became the United States from 1619 to 1865.
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