House of Representatives holds first hearing on slavery reparation

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives held its first congressional hearing on slavery reparations in more than a decade.

House Bill HR-40 establishes a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for the descendants of slaves in the United States. It reads in part:

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.

Among those speaking was Houston Congresswoman Shiela Jackson Lee, who was one of the few presenting the bill.

The hearing comes on June 19, also known as "Juneteenth", which marks the end of slavery in the U.S.