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Second Plaque to Honor Slaves Who Built Capitol

On Tuesday congressional leaders unveiled another marker commemorating slave laborers who constructed the Capitol.  This is the second marker honoring the work of slaves in the Capitol.  Below is a press release from Rep. Karen Bass.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Karen Bass released the following statement on her attendance to the Commemorative Marker Unveiling Ceremony in recognition of the contributions enslaved African Americans to the construction of the United States Capitol:

“Just moments ago, I had the honor to be a part of a historic event – the unveiling of a commemorative stone marker that finally acknowledges the vital role of the 800 enslaved African Americans who were rented out for the construction of our nation’s most iconic structure – the United States Capitol.

“After more than 200 years without an official recognition of their essential role, Congressman John Lewis formed the bipartisan Slave Labor Task Force to study the history and contributions of African American slave laborers, who were shunned from our nation’s history for the skilled and excruciating physical labor they endured for more than seven years during the construction of the Capitol. I congratulate my colleague, Congressman Lewis, for his unwavering dedication to ensuring that this important ceremony took place and for bringing together our nation’s Republican and Democratic Congressional leadership in both the House and Senate to speak today on such a momentous occasion.”