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Biden marks Slavery Remembrance Day: ‘Great nations don’t hide from their history’

President Biden commemorated Slavery Remembrance Day on Saturday, saying in a statement that “great nations don’t hide from their history.”

“Today is a day to reflect on the terrible toll of slavery, and on our nation’s profound ability to heal and emerge stronger. Despite the horrors they faced, these men and women and their descendants have made countless contributions to the building of this nation and the continuous effort to realize the American ideal,” Biden said.

The president said he was “honored” to sign legislation last year making Juneteenth, which marks the day the last enslaved African Americans were told slavery had ended and the Civil War was no more, a federal holiday.

Biden also recognized Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) among the lawmakers who have pushed to establish Slavery Remembrance Day on Aug. 20.

The lawmakers reintroduced legislation last year to mark Slavery Remembrance Day on Aug. 20. Legislation commemorating the day as such passed the House last month. It awaits consideration in the Senate.

“My Original Slavery Remembrance Day Resolution denounces slavery, encourages people across the length and breadth of our nation to acknowledge the perverse role slavery played in our history, as well as stipulates that the U.S. House of Representatives officially supports the establishment of an annual Slavery Remembrance Day on August 20,” Green said in a statement following the passage of the bill in the House.

“This date was chosen because on August 20, 1619, a slave ship, The White Lion, arrived in Point Comfort near Norfolk, VA with the first 20 enslaved Africans brought to the English-speaking American colonies.”

Green hosted a breakfast on Saturday to commemorate Slavery Remembrance Day in Houston. 

Tags Al Green Al Green Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Joe Biden
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