H.R. 2989 establishes a 16-member commission to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass. The Commission shall plan, develop, carry out, and recommend to Congress programs and activities that are fitting and proper to celebrate the anniversary in a manner that appropriately honors Frederick Douglass. No funds are authorized to carry out this Act, but the commission is authorized to accept private donations.
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1817 and escaped by age 21. He published an autobiography documenting his life as a slave, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, while he was a fugitive slave. He spent his life advocating for the end of slavery and for equal civil rights. The bicentennial anniversary of his birth will occur in 2018
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 3, 2017.
(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the House on October 11, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act
(Sec. 3) This bill establishes the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission to: (1) plan, develop, and carry out programs and activities to honor Frederick Douglass for the bicentennial anniversary of his birth; and (2) recommend the federal government entities appropriate to carry out such programs and activities.
(Sec. 8) Not later than August 1, 2018, the commission must recommend appropriate activities to Congress. A final report detailing commission activities and expenditures must be submitted not later than June 1, 2019.