Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0090
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of HJR0090  101st General Assembly




HJ0090 EngrossedLRB101 14844 MST 64020 r


2    WHEREAS, The United States' history as a symbol of
3democracy, freedom, and "home of exiles" is brandished around
4the world; and
5    WHEREAS, The legacy of our Nation's African-descended
6people and indigenous peoples has resounded as an echoing
7dissonance in its "symphony of brotherhood" throughout its
8history; and
9    WHEREAS, The legacy of African American struggles for
10civil, political, and human rights is interwoven in the fabric
11of democracy and freedom of the United States; and
12    WHEREAS, Millions of Africans and their descendants were
13enslaved in the United States, from the original 13 North
14American colonies until the abolition of slavery in 1865 with
15the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to "slavery by another
16name" under the twin regimes of racial economic and social
17authoritarianism, called Jim Crow, and domestic terrorism; and
18    WHEREAS, The aggregate value of enslaved African Americans
19at the time of Emancipation, measured in 2019 dollars, was more
20than 13 trillion dollars, which is a meager percentage of the
21unpaid wealth that they produced for the United States'



HJ0090 Engrossed- 2 -LRB101 14844 MST 64020 r

1slave-based economy; and
2    WHEREAS, The gendered racism of the United States' system
3of slavery made the productive and reproductive intrinsic value
4of enslaved African American women an incalculable source of
5the United States' global economic power; and
6    WHEREAS, Africans forced into slavery, brutalized,
7humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of
8being stripped of their names and heritage makes the
9reparations due to African Americans necessary but
10insufficient as the United States' payment on the debt of
11African American slavery, peonage, and expropriation of Black
12asset wealth through fraudulent mortgages like Chicago's
13notorious "contract buyers" schemes; and
14    WHEREAS, African American families were torn apart when
15family members were sold off, endured further separation and
16deprivation under Jim Crow, but sought freedom and economic
17opportunities in the Great Migration from the South to northern
18Midwest states like Illinois; and
19    WHEREAS, The system of hereditary racial slavery that
20commenced not long after "the 1619 year of no return" provided
21the foundation of the system of structural racism, inequality,
22and white supremacy that became woven into the social fabric of



HJ0090 Engrossed- 3 -LRB101 14844 MST 64020 r

1the United States; and
2    WHEREAS, So embedded in the United States' social,
3political, economic, religious, and cultural landscape was the
4system of African American subjugation that it took the
5apocalypse of the American Civil War to rid the Nation of its
6"original sin"; and
7    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois assumes a special place in
8the history and memorialization of "the 1619 day of no return"
9because of the role that President Abraham Lincoln played as
10Commander-in-Chief in defeating the armed revolt of the slave
11power of the southern Confederacy against American democracy
12and African American freedom; and
13    WHEREAS, It took the powerful working of the United States'
14democratic electoral system, propelled by the movement of
15African American slaves following the North Star to freedom in
16solidarity with their White and free Black allies in the
17abolitionist movement, to elect and re-elect Abraham Lincoln to
18carry out the historic task of ridding the United States of
19slavery; and
20    WHEREAS, The great challenge to our experiment in democracy
21that we face today gives us further reason to memorialize the
22Black struggle for freedom that recommitted the United States



HJ0090 Engrossed- 4 -LRB101 14844 MST 64020 r

1to its democratic ideals, adding the Civil War Amendments
2(13th, 14th, and 15th) to the Constitution; and
3    WHEREAS, Illinois has never evinced the same care and
4consideration for its Black exiles from Africa that it has for
5its White exiles from Europe; and
6    WHEREAS, Every positive step that Illinois has taken toward
7racial justice and equality has been reversed by backward
8legislative steps that have made Black freedom struggles in
9Illinois continuous to this day; and
10    WHEREAS, The 1908 Springfield Race Riot in the State's
11capital and seat of the people's representatives was the
12catalyst for the formation of the National Association for the
13Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and
14    WHEREAS, The 1917 East St. Louis race riot demonstrated the
15tangled history of race, class, and economics that victimized
16African Americans who were newly arrived to Illinois from the
17South; and
18    WHEREAS, Springfield and East St. Louis also reflected a
19new Black assertiveness, a "New Negro", that culminated in the
20"Red Summer of 1919" Chicago Race Riot, whose 100th anniversary
21is also memorialized with this resolution; and



HJ0090 Engrossed- 5 -LRB101 14844 MST 64020 r

1    WHEREAS, The history of Illinois' modern system of racial
2segregation, heroically countered by the democratic struggles
3of the State's African American communities, calls upon all
4Illinois legislators to prioritize the State's legislative
5agenda around policies and realistic funding appropriations
6aimed at addressing the interminable legacy of racial
7inequities in African American education, housing, labor
8market outcomes, transportation marginalization, business
9inequalities, healthcare disparities, and political
10decision-making disempowerment; and
11    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois also boasts numerous racial
12justice moments throughout its 20th century political history
13that have impacted both the State's and the United States'
14history, including the election of Abraham Lincoln, the
15election of Harold Washington as the first Black Mayor of the
16City of Chicago, the election of Barack Obama as the first
17Black President of the United States, the election of Illinois'
18first Black Woman Lieutenant Governor, the election of the
19first Black Woman State Representative of Illinois' 103rd
20District, representing the University of Illinois
21Urbana-Champaign, the appointment of the first Black
22Chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and
23the election in Chicago of the first Black LGBTQ Mayor of any
24major city in the United States; therefore, be it



HJ0090 Engrossed- 6 -LRB101 14844 MST 64020 r

3SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we solemnly observe the 1619
4African Year of No Return by observing the Illinois recognition
5of the 2019 Year of Return Project resolution; and be it
7    RESOLVED, That we urge recognition of Illinois' vibrant
8history of African American political struggles for democracy
9and freedom that have widened the scope and deepened the
10State's and the United States' commitment to democracy and
11racial justice; and be it further
12    RESOLVED, That we urge adequate appropriations for
13investigations, research, publication, and a website to
14represent Illinois' Black contributions to widening and
15deepening the State's and the United States' commitment to
16racial justice in memorializing the 1619-2019 Year of Return;
17and be it further
18    RESOLVED, That we urge adequate appropriations for the
19development of a comprehensive legislative agenda of policies
20and racial justice legislation to engage the State's African
21American communities in an urgent discussion of their vital
22issues and challenges to memorialize the 1619-2019 Year of



HJ0090 Engrossed- 7 -LRB101 14844 MST 64020 r