Virginia Lawmakers Apologize for Slavery

The Virginia state legislature issues an apology for the state's past history of slavery. The Old Dominion becomes the first southern state to formally acknowledge its role through legislative channels.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

Virginia has become the first state to apologize for slavery. Late yesterday, the state legislature voted to express profound regret for the state's role in the slave trade. The bill's sponsor, Democratic Delegate A. Donald McEachin, said, For there to be true reconciliation over slavery, there has to be an apology and it should come from Virginia.

Mr. A. DONALD MCEACHIN (Delegate, Democrat, Virginia): Because it's the Commonwealth of Virginia that was founded on the shores of Jamestown some 400 years ago. It's the Commonwealth of Virginia that allowed slavery to come through that portal. It's the Commonwealth of Virginia that was really built on the backs of African-Americans. And so it's very appropriate that the commonwealth has now taken this step.

HANSEN: The resolution calls slavery one of the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights, and notes that even after its abolition it was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other practices toward African-Americans that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: