Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0090
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Full Text of HJR0090  101st General Assembly



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2    AMENDMENT NO. ___. Amend House Joint Resolution 90 by
3replacing everything after the heading with the following:
4    "WHEREAS, The United States' history as a symbol of
5democracy, freedom, and "home of exiles" is brandished around
6the world; and
7    WHEREAS, The legacy of our Nation's African-descended
8people and indigenous peoples has resounded as an echoing
9dissonance in its "symphony of brotherhood" throughout its
10history; and
11    WHEREAS, The legacy of African American struggles for
12civil, political, and human rights is interwoven in the fabric
13of democracy and freedom of the United States; and
14    WHEREAS, Millions of Africans and their descendants were



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1enslaved in the United States, from the original 13 North
2American colonies until the abolition of slavery in 1865 with
3the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to "slavery by another
4name" under the twin regimes of racial economic and social
5authoritarianism, called Jim Crow, and domestic terrorism; and
6    WHEREAS, The aggregate value of enslaved African Americans
7at the time of Emancipation, measured in 2019 dollars, was more
8than 13 trillion dollars, which is a meager percentage of the
9unpaid wealth that they produced for the United States'
10slave-based economy; and
11    WHEREAS, The gendered racism of the United States' system
12of slavery made the productive and reproductive intrinsic value
13of enslaved African American women an incalculable source of
14the United States' global economic power; and
15    WHEREAS, Africans forced into slavery, brutalized,
16humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of
17being stripped of their names and heritage makes the
18reparations due to African Americans necessary but
19insufficient as the United States' payment on the debt of
20African American slavery, peonage, and expropriation of Black
21asset wealth through fraudulent mortgages like Chicago's
22notorious "contract buyers" schemes; and



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1    WHEREAS, African American families were torn apart when
2family members were sold off, endured further separation and
3deprivation under Jim Crow, but sought freedom and economic
4opportunities in the Great Migration from the South to northern
5Midwest states like Illinois; and
6    WHEREAS, The system of hereditary racial slavery that
7commenced not long after "the 1619 year of no return" provided
8the foundation of the system of structural racism, inequality,
9and white supremacy that became woven into the social fabric of
10the United States; and
11    WHEREAS, So embedded in the United States' social,
12political, economic, religious, and cultural landscape was the
13system of African American subjugation that it took the
14apocalypse of the American Civil War to rid the Nation of its
15"original sin"; and
16    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois assumes a special place in
17the history and memorialization of "the 1619 day of no return"
18because of the role that President Abraham Lincoln played as
19Commander-in-Chief in defeating the armed revolt of the slave
20power of the southern Confederacy against American democracy
21and African American freedom; and
22    WHEREAS, It took the powerful working of the United States'



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1democratic electoral system, propelled by the movement of
2African American slaves following the North Star to freedom in
3solidarity with their White and free Black allies in the
4abolitionist movement, to elect and re-elect Abraham Lincoln to
5carry out the historic task of ridding the United States of
6slavery; and
7    WHEREAS, The great challenge to our experiment in democracy
8that we face today gives us further reason to memorialize the
9Black struggle for freedom that recommitted the United States
10to its democratic ideals, adding the Civil War Amendments
11(13th, 14th, and 15th) to the Constitution; and
12    WHEREAS, Illinois has never evinced the same care and
13consideration for its Black exiles from Africa that it has for
14its White exiles from Europe; and
15    WHEREAS, Every positive step that Illinois has taken toward
16racial justice and equality has been reversed by backward
17legislative steps that have made Black freedom struggles in
18Illinois continuous to this day; and
19    WHEREAS, The 1908 Springfield Race Riot in the State's
20capital and seat of the people's representatives was the
21catalyst for the formation of the National Association for the
22Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and



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1    WHEREAS, The 1917 East St. Louis race riot demonstrated the
2tangled history of race, class, and economics that victimized
3African Americans who were newly arrived to Illinois from the
4South; and
5    WHEREAS, Springfield and East St. Louis also reflected a
6new Black assertiveness, a "New Negro", that culminated in the
7"Red Summer of 1919" Chicago Race Riot, whose 100th anniversary
8is also memorialized with this resolution; and
9    WHEREAS, The history of Illinois' modern system of racial
10segregation, heroically countered by the democratic struggles
11of the State's African American communities, calls upon all
12Illinois legislators to prioritize the State's legislative
13agenda around policies and realistic funding appropriations
14aimed at addressing the interminable legacy of racial
15inequities in African American education, housing, labor
16market outcomes, transportation marginalization, business
17inequalities, healthcare disparities, and political
18decision-making disempowerment; and
19    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois also boasts numerous racial
20justice moments throughout its 20th century political history
21that have impacted both the State's and the United States'
22history, including the election of Abraham Lincoln, the



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1election of Harold Washington as the first Black Mayor of the
2City of Chicago, the election of Barack Obama as the first
3Black President of the United States, the election of Illinois'
4first Black Woman Lieutenant Governor, the election of the
5first Black Woman State Representative of Illinois' 103rd
6District, representing the University of Illinois
7Urbana-Champaign, the appointment of the first Black
8Chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and
9the election in Chicago of the first Black LGBTQ Mayor of any
10major city in the United States; therefore, be it
13SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we solemnly observe the 1619
14African Year of No Return by observing the Illinois recognition
15of the 2019 Year of Return Project resolution; and be it
17    RESOLVED, That we urge recognition of Illinois' vibrant
18history of African American political struggles for democracy
19and freedom that have widened the scope and deepened the
20State's and the United States' commitment to democracy and
21racial justice; and be it further
22    RESOLVED, That we urge adequate appropriations for
23investigations, research, publication, and a website to



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1represent Illinois' Black contributions to widening and
2deepening the State's and the United States' commitment to
3racial justice in memorializing the 1619-2019 Year of Return;
4and be it further
5    RESOLVED, That we urge adequate appropriations for the
6development of a comprehensive legislative agenda of policies
7and racial justice legislation to engage the State's African
8American communities in an urgent discussion of their vital
9issues and challenges to memorialize the 1619-2019 Year of