New Jersey Apologizes for Slavery

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New Jersey is now the first Northern state to express official regret for its role in "perpetuating the institution of slavery." State Assemblyman William Payne, who sponsored the resolution, and Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, who opposes the resolution, defend their conflicting views.

New Jersey Statement of Apology for Slavery

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The Assembly Appropriations Committee reports favorably Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 270.

This concurrent resolution issues a formal apology on behalf of the State of New Jersey for its role in sustaining and perpetuating the institution of slavery, and expresses the State's deepest sympathies and profound regrets to the thousands of slaves and the descendents of those enslaved, who were denied life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while in bondage.

In tracing the history of slavery and its legacy of inequality from the founding of the Republic to the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s, the concurrent resolution acknowledges the injustices, the broken promises and the blank checks that have never come to fruition. It calls upon the residents of this State to learn about and gain a deeper understanding of the history of slavery, the legacy of de facto and de jure segregation, and the existence of modern day slavery to ensure that these tragedies will not be forgotten and will not be repeated.

-State of New Jersey, Jan. 3, 2008

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