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March 29, 2022



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Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) released the following statement regarding the official signing of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act by President Biden:

“It was more than 66 years ago that white men viciously lynched 14-year-old Emmett Till for no reason other than being a young Black man. Today, after centuries of pain and many attempts, the legislation named in his honor has become law. With President Biden’s signature our nation has firmly and finally designated lynching as the vile hate crime that it is, and secured the justice and change we have so long pursued. On this day of triumph, my thoughts are with Emmett Till and his family, as well as the loved ones of every victim of these horrific crimes. And we can never forget the countless sheroes like, Ida B. Wells and incomparable heroes like Congressman Bobby L. Rush, who dedicated their lives towards the pursuit of this moment. And I would be remiss if I did not mention unsung heroes like my dear friend and Brooklyn District Attorney, the late Kenneth P. Thompson, who fought tirelessly to reopen the investigation into Emmett Till’s murder. It is through shared sacrifices and perseverance that today is possible and, for that, I am forever in their debt,” said Congresswoman Clarke. 

But let me be very clear, our success today cannot foment complacency tomorrow. This victory does not undo the centuries-deep wound of hatred that necessitated this legislation. Nor does it erase any memories of the fierce, decades-long opposition to it. What it does achieve, however, is one more step for America in our journey towards justice, fairness and equality. Our nation has sent a resounding message that its future will not reflect its contemptible past, and communities across America will be strengthened and federally protected with the assurances this law has put in place. We haven’t reached the mountain top Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned yet, but this momentous day advances our journey toward a more equitable and just world, especially for those of African descent.”


Yvette D. Clarke has been in Congress since 2007. She represents New York’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn. Clarke is a Senior Member of both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Committee on Homeland Security, where she serves as Chair of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation Subcommittee.

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