A bill authored by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton for a memorial on federal land in the city honoring enslaved persons passed the House Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday.
The memorial, which would be established by the Georgetown African American Historical Landmark and Tour, would honor slaves’ presence in the city, celebrate their contributions to history and recognize their resilience and fortitude, Norton’s office said.
“This week, we remember Martin Luther King Jr., who advanced the cause of civil rights for Black Americans, who were once enslaved in the United States,” Norton said in a statement. “Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates not only the extraordinary man but also the success of the civil rights movement he championed. This monumental holiday prompts us to reflect on the past and look to the future. This bill provides for the creation of a powerful marker of truth-telling and remembrance. Let us honor the personhood of these individuals, who were repeatedly assumed to have none, so that they will never be forgotten.”
The legislation now heads to the House Committee on Rules, where it will be examined by lawmakers for its fitness to be presented on the House floor.