ABOVE: U.S. Congressman Al Green honors Forward Times and other members of Houston’s Black Press at Slavery Remembrance Breakfast (Photo by Medron White)
U.S. Congressman Al Green hosts historic 2nd Annual Slavery Remembrance Legislative Update
Photography by Medron White
Slavery was a barbaric, traumatic, and legalized institution, that is considered by many to be ‘America’s Original Sin.’ Slavery has had such a disparate impact on the lives of people of African descent, and it helped white plantation owners and companies become extremely wealthy on the backs of a people who were subjected to this system of forced labor.
On August 19, 2023, U.S. Congressman Al Green hosted his historic 2nd Annual Slavery Remembrance Legislative Update and free Commemorative Breakfast at the Wyndham Hotel near NRG Park, to honor the men and women of African descent who deserve to be acknowledged for their contributions to America.
This initiative is a cornerstone of Congressman Green’s Conscience Agenda which includes the establishment of a National Day of Commemoration for the lives sacrificed over nearly 250 years to make America great and serves as an ever-enduring reminder of the evils of slavery and its sinister prodigies to prevent history from repeating itself.
“The first thing we’ve got to do is realize that in this country, we now revere the enslavers, and we revile the enslaved,” said Congressman Green. “Confederates were traitors and were the enslavers, yet we revere them by naming schools, buildings, streets, and other things after them.”
Congressman Green highlighted his efforts to secure Congressional Gold Medals for the enslaved, recognizing their immense contributions as the foundational mothers and fathers of America’s economic greatness. Congressman Green pointed out that in 1956, the Congress of the United States, with the president signing off on it, gave a Congressional Gold Medal—the highest medal that Congress can issue—to Confederate soldiers.
“I believe that if this country can give a Congressional Gold Medal to Confederate soldiers, the Congress of the United States of America has to give a Congressional Gold Medal to the enslaved people who fought, lived, and died to make America great. It’s time for Congress to step up to the plate and honor the people whose backs built America.”
Congressman Green provided a legislative update and shared the latest developments regarding the designation of August 20th as Slavery Remembrance Day. The event featured an esteemed lineup of special guests, including prominent clergy, public officials, and civic organizations from across the Greater Houston Area. Reverend Max A. Miller, Jr. and Bishop James Dixon addressed the importance of slavery remembrance. During the program, a special tribute was given to former State Representative Al Edwards—known by many as the father of Juneteenth in Texas. There was also homage paid to the historical Houston Black Press, including the historic Forward Times, who has never missed a week of print since inception in January 1960.
Attendees also had the pleasure of experiencing the captivating sounds of the Houston Ebony Opera Guild and participated in a special ceremony memorializing the lives of those who endured the horrors of slavery to make America great.
“We stand unified in our commitment to memorialize and honor the legacy of those who endured the injustices of slavery, one of the great crimes against humanity,” Congressman Al Green concluded.