Tennessee's Justin Jones teases big reparations news to come in 2024

Nashville, Tennessee - Tennessee state Representative Justin Jones took to X to tease some big plans as the reparations movement picks up steam across the US.

Tennessee state Representative Justin Jones has said he plans to introduce reparations legislation in 2024.
Tennessee state Representative Justin Jones has said he plans to introduce reparations legislation in 2024.  © Jemal Countess / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

"Tennessee is the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, yet my colleagues told me it was 'too controversial' to bring up legislation about reparations," Jones wrote on X on Friday.

"Nonetheless, looking forward to filing a reparations bill in 2024. It is long overdue," he added.

Jones' announcement came just days after New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to create a statewide reparations commission. In June, the California Reparations Task Force released its final report after a two-year study.

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Numerous cities are also pursuing measures to provide redress to Black Americans for the evils of enslavement and racial discrimination, reflected in present-day disparities in wealth, education, employment, housing, health, the criminal-legal system, and more.

Many advocates hope action on reparations at the state and municipal levels may increase pressure on President Joe Biden to create a federal commission by executive order.

Justin Jones signals he is ready to lead on reparations in Tennessee

Jones looks ready to heed those calls in the Southern state of Tennessee in spite of opposition from some of his fellow lawmakers.

The 28-year-old shot to the national spotlight after Republicans in the Tennessee House tried to eject him and his colleague, Justin Pearson, for leading demonstrations against gun violence in the state Capitol. Gloria Johnson, another Democrat who joined Pearson and Jones in the rally, narrowly survived her expulsion vote, sparking accusations of racism in the process.

Jones was reinstated to the state legislature in April and won the special election to retain his seat in a landslide victory in August.

Cover photo: Jemal Countess / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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