Charleston leaders to consider apology for city's role in slavery

Charleston City Hall (WCIV/File Image)

The South Carolina city where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first set foot on American soil is ready to apologize for its role in the slave trade.

The resolution is expected to be passed by the Charleston City Council on Tuesday. It offers nothing more than a denouncement of the "deprivation of life, human dignity and constitutional protections" of slaves.

Click here to read the full resolution.

But it's full of symbolism. The Council meets in City Hall, built by slaves. They sit less than a mile (1.5 kilometers) from the old wharf where slave ships unloaded - soon to be the site of a $75 million African-American history museum.

Tuesday is also "Juneteenth," a celebration of slavery's end.

The National Park Service says about 40 percent of African slaves entered the U.S. through Charleston.

The Catholic Diocese of Charleston issued a statement of support for the City of Charleston's proposed resolution.

“Jesus loved, accepted and embraced all people. Their race, gender or nationality never mattered to Him. Our African American brothers and sisters have suffered greatly because of slavery and Jim Crow laws. This apology is an important step in healing wounds that are still evident, even today,” said Bishop Guglielmone.

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