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Activists call on Boston to apologize for slave ties

January 27, 2022 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts activists are calling on Boston officials to formally apologize for the city’s ties to the slave trade as it weighs the question of providing reparations.

The New Democracy Coalition issued a letter to the City Council Thursday arguing that the city needs to “apologize for its complicity” in the transatlantic slave trade before it launches any reparations efforts.

It said the council should immediately issue a resolution representing a formal city apology.

“Only then can we truly and earnestly discuss reparations. Only then can we find real reconciliation between Whites and Blacks in the city, which is the source of continuing social discord and xenophobia in Boston,” reads the letter, which the coalition said has also been sent to Mayor Michelle Wu.

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The council’s civil rights committee held a hearing in October to hear from Black community activists, academics and the public about how the city can account for its role in Black slavery and potentially provide reparations to Black residents.

Council members didn’t respond to emails seeking comment Thursday.