Thursday, April 26, 2007

Apologies keep coming

The governing board of the University of Virginia has expressed its "particular regret" for its engagement with the peculiar institution, and it "recommits itself to the principles of equal opportunity and to the principle that human freedom and learning are and must be inextricably linked." This move comes two months after the Commonwealth of Virginia issued its apology for slavery.

The institution believes this is the first such resolution passed by a university governing board. In 2004, the University of Alabama’s faculty apologized for its historical role during slavery, and last year Brown University released a report summarizing several years of research into its ties to the slave trade. In recent months, other state legislatures have passed or begun debate on resolutions similar to Virginia’s, leading to what Alfred L. Brophy, a professor of law at the University of Alabama who led the apology effort in the faculty senate there, called a “domino effect.

North Carolina has followed suit.

John Hope Franklin tells the Independent Weekly what he thinks about apologies.

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