Posted on March 27, 2007

Maryland Issues Apology For Its Role In Slavery

AP, March, 27, 2007

Maryland lawmakers approved an apology Monday for the state’s role in the slave trade, expressing “profound regret” that it once “trafficked in human flesh.”


The vote in the House of Delegates makes the apology official, because a resolution doesn’t require the governor’s signature. The state Senate already approved it.

The resolution notes that slavery “fostered a climate of oppression not only for slaves and their descendants but also for people of color who moved to Maryland subsequent to slavery’s abolition.”

Co-sponsor Sen. Nathaniel Exum, a Democrat, said he was exhilarated that Maryland lawmakers decided to finally recognize the painful role the state played in slavery.

“Once we come to that recognition, maybe we will also recognize steps we need to do to get rid of the lingering effects of it on the people,” Exum said.


Virginia’s legislature passed a resolution last month also expressing “profound regret” for that state’s role in slavery. Congress and lawmakers in Missouri and Georgia are also considering an apology.

[Editor’s Note: A PDF of Senate Joint Resolution, which passed unanomously, can be read here.

[Information concerning the resolution’s history and a list of its sponsors is available here. The PDF can be downloaded from that page, as well.]


Nathaniel Exum