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Last updated 12:08AM ET
March 9, 2021
Riley Signs Slavery Apology
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Today (Thursday May 31st), Governor Bob Riley signed a legislative resolution that apologizes for Alabama's past role in slavery. The resolution expresses "profound regret" and apologizes for slavery's wrongs and lingering effects on the United States. It also describes "centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices" and says "the vestiges of slavery are ever before African-American citizens." The wording also says says the House and Senate "express our profound regret for the State of Alabama's role in slavery and that we apologize for the wrongs inflicted by slavery and its after effects in the United States of America."
The signing makes Alabama the fourth Southern state to pass a slavery apology. The others are Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Riley penned his signature at the old state Capitol, which served as the first capitol of the Confederacy in 1861. The Capitol was also the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march that led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Riley says he approved the resolution because "slavery was evil and is a part of American history". He says he also signed the resolution because it offered an opportunity to present Alabama in a new image. A sponsor of the resolution, Rep. Mary Moore, D-Birmingham, says Riley signed despite opposition from some in his own party. Moore says, "This proves Alabama is open for everyone and we are ready to improve race relations". Republicans who opposed the bill said it was inflammatory and could open the door for descendants of slaves to seek reparations.
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