Dr. Yohuru Williams, the founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, joined New York Gov. Kathy Hochul for a historic bill signing in New York City. Williams was invited by the governor's office to attend the event and offer remarks that put the historic legislation into a historical context.
Williams acknowledged the deep-rooted historical injustices that occurred across the nation – not only in the South, but also in the North, in a place like Queens, New York, home of fictional character Archie Bunker from the 1970s TV show “All in the Family,” he said.
Williams, a historian based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, is one of the three appointed conveners of the 2021 St. Paul City Council legislative advisory committee on reparations and as a result, he understands the depth and commitment and courage required to take on this work New York has before it.
“In New York, we like to think we’re on the right side of this," Hochul said at the bill signing ceremony in New York City. “What is hard to embrace is the fact that our state also flourished from that slavery. It’s not a beautiful story, but indeed it is the truth.”
Read more in an Associated Press article.