I feel soooo much better !!!
Wachovia apologizes for slavery ties
Bank's predecessors owned slaves; company hopes to further awareness of African-American history.
June 2, 2005: 9:31 AM EDT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Wachovia Corporation has apologized for its ties to slavery after disclosing that two of its historical predecessors owned slaves and accepted them as payment.
"On behalf of Wachovia Corporation, I apologize to all Americans, and especially to African-Americans and people of African descent," said Ken Thompson, Wachovia chairman and chief executive officer, in the statement released late Wednesday. "We are deeply saddened by these findings."
The announcement comes as a handful of cities nationwide propose initiatives requiring banks and other large companies to investigate and disclose ties to slavery.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank issued a 111-page report to comply with a Chicago ordinance that requires companies that do business with the city to disclose whether they profited from slavery, which ended in the U.S. in 1865.
Historians at the History Factory, a research firm specializing in corporate archival work, found that the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company and the Bank of Charleston -- institutions that ultimately became part of Wachovia through acquisitions -- owned slaves, Wachovia said in the statement.
Records revealed that the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company owned at least 162 slaves, Wachovia said, and that the Bank of Charleston accepted at least 529 slaves as collateral on mortgaged properties or loans. The Bank of Charleston also acquired an undetermined number of people when customers defaulted on their loans.
"We know that we cannot change the past, and we can't make up for the wrongs of slavery," said Thompson. "But we can learn from our past, and begin a stronger dialogue about slavery and the experience of African-Americans in our country."
"We want to promote a better understanding of the African-American experience, including the unique struggles, triumphs and contributions of African-Americans, and their important role in America's past and present," he added.
Wachovia has made the full research report available on its Web site, and said it plans to partner with community organizations to further awareness of African-American history.
Wachovia, one of the nation's largest financial services providers, joins fellow banking giant J.P. Morgan in apologizing for ties to slavery.
Along with Chicago, Richmond, Va., Philadelphia and Los Angeles also require companies that do business within city limits to disclose financial ties with slavery. And city council members in Berkeley, Calif., proposed an ordinance this week that would nullify city contracts with companies that do not acknowledge past practices that aided slavery.
END of article.
Why are we still obcessed with something that ended over 140 years ago ? It only fuels the fires, and there is not one single thing that can undo history (although the schools are sure trying to rewrite it). My folks owned them - lots of them, and I feel no shame, nor any desire to apologize for something that was legal. Why aren't these cry-babies talking about the present slavery conditions in afrika now ?? Just my gripe for the day. :silly: