Connecticut Law Review Online The Online Presence of Connecticut Law Review

Apology Lite: Truths, Doubts, and Reconciliations in the Senate’s Guarded Apology for Slavery

The United States Senate recently offered an apology for slavery, which contained an unusual disclaimer prohibiting its use in any claim for monetary reparations.  This Essay examines the legal and moral effects of that apology.  It analyzes the role of apology within the slavery reparations debate generally as well as the question of whether a stand-alone apology can be a valid form of reparations.  It then examines the moral and symbolic effects of the Senate disclaimer, and offers suggestions for bolstering the apology and furthering the restorative justice goals of reparations.

:: View PDF