The city of Charleston in South Carolina passed a resolution on Tuesday evening formally apologizing for the role it had during the slave trade.
The city council approved the symbolic gesture by a 7-5 margin after an hour of public comments and nearly two hours of heated debates, reports The State. It called for “recognizing, denouncing, and apologizing on behalf of the City of Charleston for the City’s role in regulating, supporting and fostering slavery and the resulting atrocities inflicted by the institution of slavery.”
Following the vote, multiple speeches were given to a crowd of bystanders, centering on the city’s involvement in the “evil institution” of slavery, as well as slaves’ involvement in building historic Charleston, which includes City Hall.
Charleston was a key port of entry for nearly half of the slaves who were shipped from Africa, according to NPR. (RELATED: Judge Throws Out Charleston Church Shooting Victims’ Lawsuits Against FBI)
“This is the modern city council which feels the need to make an apology for the institution of slavery in the city of Charleston,” William Dudley Gregorie, a Charleston councilman, told ABC News.
Gregorie, who is also a trustee at the Emanuel AME Church that experienced a racially motivated mass shooting in 2015, explained, “We’re trying to turn our pain into something positive.”
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