[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 36 (Wednesday, February 28, 2018)]
[Pages S1279-S1280]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          LEGISLATIVE SESSION


                            MORNING BUSINESS

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
resume legislative session for a period of morning business, with 
Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, like all great cities, Chicago is a city 
of neighborhoods, and one of its most storied neighborhoods is an 
enclave on the South Side. It is called Bronzeville. Bronzeville was 
born a century ago, during the first wave of the Great Migration, when 
tens of thousands of African Americans left the oppression of Jim Crow 
laws and lynching in the Deep South and headed north, to Chicago, in 
search of industrial jobs. By 1920, Bronzeville was home to so many 
African-American-owned businesses that it took on a prestigious new 
moniker: ``Black Metropolis.''
  Among the famous African Americans who called Bronzeville home were 
Ida B. Wells, journalist, civil rights activist, and cofounder of the 
NAACP; Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman pilot; and Rube 
Foster, founder of the Negro National Baseball League, the league that 
gave America such greats as Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and the 
legendary Satchel Paige.
  Black History Month, which America celebrates each February, also has 
its roots in Bronzeville. It began as a modest proposal, but it seemed 
revolutionary at the time. In 1926, the distinguished historian and 
journalist Carter G. Woodson launched America's first Negro History 
  Carter Woodson, the ``father of Black history,'' had earned his 
bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago in 1908. 
He had gone on to become only the second African American ever--after 
W.E.B. DuBois--to earn a doctorate from Harvard University. Years of 
studying history convinced Carter Woodson that the contributions of 
African Americans were, in his words, ``overlooked, ignored, and even 
suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use 
them.'' The result, he believed, was an incomplete and inaccurate 
account of history that perpetuated racial inequality and stunted the 
dreams of many African Americans. So Carter Woodson made it his life's 
mission to fill in the missing chapters in America's history books. He 
returned to Chicago often, almost always staying in Bronzeville at the 
Wabash YMCA, the first African-American Y in the United States.
  In 1915 in Chicago, he and four other African-American historians 
founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, later 
renamed the ``Association for the Study of African American Life and 
History.'' In 1916, the association began publishing The Journal of 
Negro History, ``particularly targeted those responsible for the 
education of black children.''
  Woodson chose the second week in February to mark Negro History 
Week--to commemorate the birthdays of the great abolitionist Frederick 
Douglass and the ``Great Emancipator'' Abraham Lincoln.
  In the 1970s, Negro History Week became Black History Month.
  As we near the end of this year's Black History Month, I want to tell 
you about an amazing woman from the Chicago area who is making history 
today by helping to free women and children from modern-day slavery. 
Her name is Marian Hatcher, and she follows in the footsteps of two 
earlier ``she-roes'' of American history: Sojourner Truth and Harriet 
  Sojourner Truth was born in upstate New York in 1797, three decades 
before that State abolished slavery. She was separated from her family 
at 9, and she was bought and sold four times before escaping to freedom 
with her infant daughter in 1826.
  She began her life as a free woman working first as an itinerant 
preacher. She later became an outspoken advocate for abolition, civil 
rights, and women's rights. When the Civil War broke out, Sojourner 
Truth urged young men to join the Union cause and organized supplies 
for Black troops. For her efforts, she was invited to meet President 
Lincoln in the White House in 1864.
  After the war, Sojourner Truth moved to Washington, DC to work with 
the Freedmen's Bureau, helping freed slaves find jobs and build new 
lives. In the mid-1860s--90 years before the Montgomery bus boycott--a 
Washington streetcar conductor tried violently to block her from riding 
his car. Sojourner Truth insisted that he be arrested and tried.
  Harriet Tubman was born in Maryland to enslaved parents around 1820--
the youngest of nine children. She escaped to freedom in the North in 
1949 and became one of the most famous and fearless ``conductors'' on 
the Underground Railroad. She risked her life repeatedly to return to 
the South and lead hundreds of slaves, including her own parents, to 
  Harriet Tubman risked her life again during the Civil War to work as 
a Union Army cook and nurse--and later as an armed scout and spy. Many 
called her Moses for her fierce courage in leading others out of 
  Marian Hatcher is a sort of modern-day Moses. Like Sojourner Truth 
and Harriet Tubman, she knows the pain and despair that comes from 
being bought and sold like a commodity. For 2 years, she was trafficked 
for sex by a violent pimp. And like Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, 
Marian Hatcher escaped her bondage, and she has dedicated her life to 
helping other trafficked persons regain their freedom and dignity.

[[Page S1280]]

  Let me tell you about this incredible woman. Marian Hatcher grew up 
in a home with loving, supportive parents. She earned a finance degree 
from Loyola University. She was married and had five children. But 
Marian also had painful secrets, including a history of childhood 
sexual abuse, untreated depression, and a husband--a former Vice Lords 
gang member--who beat her.
  Marian started smoking crack to ease her pain. When she could no 
longer stand the beatings from her husband, she left her family and 
survived for 2 years by working as a prostitute. Her pimp gave her 
crack so she wouldn't return to her family. On Mother's Day, he gave 
her extra crack because she grieved so deeply for the children she had 
left behind.
  During those 2 years on the street, Marian was beaten and raped more 
times than she can count. She was in and out of jail repeatedly. As she 
says, ``I tried to smoke enough crack to bust my heart, but God would 
not let me die. He had another plan for me.''
  That plan began to unfold in 2004, when Marian was arrested again--
this time for violating probation on a drug charge. She expected to be 
treated like a criminal. Instead, in the Cook County jail, Marian 
Hatcher found the compassion and care she needed to begin to heal from 
her trauma and rebuild her life.
  The Cook County Women's Rehabilitative Alternative Probation, WRAP, 
Drug Court--one of the Nation's most successful drug courts--took a 
chance on Marian. A judge there sentenced Marian to a jail-based, 
therapeutic treatment designed specifically for women struggling with 
trauma and substance abuse. When Marian was released 18 months later, 
she began working as a volunteer with that same program. She was so 
good that the Cook County Sheriffs Office hired her to work full time 
at the jail. She has never left.
  Fourteen years later, Marian Hatcher has been promoted five times. 
She is now coordinator of the Cook County Sheriff's Office pioneering 
efforts to combat human trafficking, and she is one of America's 
leading experts on how to help victims of sex trafficking to escape 
that life and heal from the trauma. On behalf of her boss, Cook County 
sheriff Tom Dart, she has recruited a network of more than 100 law 
enforcement agencies, including the FBI, as well as research and 
nonprofits groups, to work together to reduce the demand for sex 
trafficking and prostitution.
  Like Sojourner Truth, she is also an ordained minister.
  Her work has won acclaim and respect. Marian Hatcher received a 
Presidential Achievement Award from President Barack Obama. Oprah has 
told her story. She has spoken on human trafficking at the United 
Nations and participated in President Jimmy Carter's summit to end 
trafficking globally. And just before Christmas, the Governor of 
Illinois granted Marian Hatcher clemency for offenses in her old life--
official recognition of her tireless work to break the chains of 
bondage for others.
  I have introduced a bill to expand the availability of trauma-
informed care for survivors of gun violence and other forms of trauma 
and toxic stress. Marian Hatcher's remarkable redemption is proof that 
such care can help to heal shattered lives and help break the cycle of 
recidivism that too often results from untreated childhood trauma.
  Like Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, Marian Hatcher struggles 
with chronic, painful health conditions as the result of the beatings 
and abuse she endured. She also lives with multiple sclerosis and 
fibromyalgia, and she is a cancer survivor. There are days when every 
step she takes hurts. But she never stops working to end the modern-day 
slavery that is sex trafficking. I respect her greatly and am proud to 
tell her story during this Black History month.