Expelled Black lawmaker Pearson to return to Tennessee House

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of two Black Democrats expelled from the Republican-led Tennessee House will return to the Legislature after a Memphis commission voted to reinstate him Wednesday, nearly a week after his banishment for supporting gun control protesters propelled him into the national spotlight.

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 to reinstate Justin Pearson as a state representative.

“I will continue to fight with and for our people, whether in or out of office. We and the young protesters are the future of a new Tennessee. Those who seek to silence us will not have the final say,” Pearson wrote in an op-ed published in The New York Times.

Republicans expelled Pearson and Rep. Justin Jones last week over their role in a gun control protest on the House floor after a Nashville school shooting that left three children and three adults dead.

The Nashville Metropolitan
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