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By Emily Cahn Posted at 6:52 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2013
Leave it to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a movie buff, to bring up Hollywood during a ceremony honoring civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
At the Wednesday morning unveiling of a likeness of Parks in Statuary Hall — the first statue of an African-American woman in the Capitol — the Nevada Democrat mentioned the Academy Award-winning films “Lincoln” and “Django Unchained” during his dedication remarks.
“Two of the best motion pictures this year were nominated for Academy Awards, ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Django Unchained,’ … cinematic treatments of the legacy of our nation’s darkest institution: slavery. One film presents an unvarnished view of the evils of slavery. The other depicts our difficult journey to end slavery,” Reid said.
“It’s significant that 150 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, we’re still considering in film, in photo, in art and activism, how to eradicate slavery’s unsavory successors: racism and inequality,” he said.
The Nevada Democrat is particularly enamored of “Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s take on President Abraham Lincoln’s quest to get Congress to amend the Constitution to end slavery.
Late last year, Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hosted a screening of the film for senators and spouses.
“The film depicts the good which is attainable when public servants put the betterment of the country ahead of short-term political interests,” Reid and McConnell wrote in a letter to senators.
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Warren Rojas is a Heard on the Hill columnist for Roll Call, having previously worked as the founding dining editor for Northern Virginia Magazine and also as a tax reporter for Tax Notes. @WARojas
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