April 26, 2022

House Passes Rep. Watson Coleman’s National Liberty Memorial Preservation Act

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6201, the National Liberty Memorial Preservation Act. The bill would extend authorization of the National Liberty Memorial, a memorial to honor the Black and Indigenous soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) introduced this bipartisan, bicameral bill alongside Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). 

Black and Indigenous soldiers made up a quarter of General George Washington’s forces by the time they won the Battle of Yorktown. On average, these soldiers of color served more than eight times as long as their white counterparts.

“Black and Indigenous people were among the soldiers who put everything on the line in the name of American independence. Had it not been for their sacrifice, the United States may not be the independent nation it is today,” said Watson Coleman. “Unfortunately, too few Americans today are aware of this. Too often, the teaching of the story of American independence fails to mention the contributions of Black and Indigenous soldiers, and at worst, it completely erases them from the historical record. By establishing a memorial in their honor, my bill will rewrite these brave soldiers into the narrative.”

National Liberty Memorial Fund D.C., a private nonprofit, will raise funds for and construct the memorial. 

The National Liberty Memorial Preservation Act is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 37 Representatives and Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bob Casey (D-PA).

Last Summer, the Washington Post published an OpEd by Congresswoman Watson Coleman celebrating the contributions of Black and Indigenous soldiers in the American Revolution.