Assembly committee approves slavery apology

A New Jersey Assembly committee approved a proposal Thursday that could see the state publicly apologize for its participation in slavery.

A final Assembly vote on the apology will take place on Jan. 7. The state Senate has not yet scheduled any action on the proposal.

Descendents of slaves addressed the committee Thursday to plead their case. Supporters of an official apology say it is a move in the right direction. "That's the first step to begin to repair the damage that has been done," says Lawrence Hamm, a leading advocate for the apology and descendent of slaves.

The proposal also apologizes for the lasting effects slavery has had on the country.

New Jersey had one of the largest slave populations in the north. It was also the last northern state to abolish slavery.

AP wires contributed to this article.

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