The Florida legislature formally apologized for its history of involvement in slavery this week. The resolution passed overwhelmingly in the Florida House and Senate. Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican, strongly supported the measure.
Several states have now taken such action and several more are considering it. The United States government is also considering bills in the House, and soon the Senate, that would apologize for our nation’s involvement in slavery.
Such actions are healthy beginnings to healing centuries-old wounds in the United States. As a result of Barack Obama’s speech on race (March 18), the cat is now out of the bag. Race, the biggest elephant in the biggest living room in America, is being discussed by the print, television, and radio news pundits across the country.
My hope is that a deep conversation will erupt in our nation; a serious conversation with healing consequences for all of us, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian. This is the dream Katrina Browne envisioned when she first decided to make her film: Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North. This is my goal with Inheriting the Trade. This is the hope of our growing group of family and friends who are involved in this project.
Here we are.