Boston is apologizing for its role in allowing slavery in its city and called it a move to “acknowledge the harm” it has done.
The Boston City Council members, in a resolution on Wednesday, all voted to pass its acknowledgement, condemnation and apology for the city’s engagement in the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on Black people centuries later, the Boston Herald reported.
Aside from the resolution’s opportunity to reflect on the past, the city also moved to strip “prominent anti-Black symbols” from the city and to make efforts help “repair past and present harm” to Black people, the newspaper said.
The resolution’s passage is “mostly symbolic,” NPR reported, and doesn’t offer to allocate reparations or funding to certain programs or areas of the city.
The passage comes roughly 239 years after Massachusetts barred slavery. Legislation like the Fugitive Slave Acts allowed slaves seeking freedom in the state to be captured and sent back to their owners.
The city was a destination for ships traveling to the Americas in the transatlantic slave trade.
Boston City Council member Tania Fernandes Anderson said an apology for a “fundamental crime of enslavement of African people” helps put Boston in a place to create a more “fair and equitable city.”