For 15 minutes this morning, a group of lawmakers - Black Caucus members and others - will honor the political life and contributions of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in one-minute tributes from the floor of Congress.
Then, tonight, the Congressional Black Caucus will follow the special tribute to Jackson with a forum on race that also marks the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s historic run for president in 1984.
“Oftentimes, people are reluctant to talk about race out of fear. They don’t want to be accused of playing the race card,” Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Barbara Lee told BET.com. “But we need to have a healthy, honest discussion of race and look at how it impacts inequities in terms of the American dream.”
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The forum will be held at the U.S. Capitol in the Orientation Room North of the Capitol Visitor’s Center, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Speakers at the event will include scholars, activists and members of Congress. Jackson, Urban League President Marc Morial, University of Maryland Professor Ronald Walters, Yale Professor Lisa Crooms and Michael L. Blakely of the College of William and Mary, will join several others for the discussion.
“It’s an opportunity to honor Rev. Jackson for the true leader he is and what he’s done,” said Lee. “He laid the foundation not only for members of Congress but for African-American elected officials all across the country.”
Titled “Opportunity for All: Pathways Out of Poverty,” the forum will address the role race still plays in society today by closely examining its impact on laws, science, culture and society in general through history.