U. of Alabama offers apologies for pre-Civil War campus slavery
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- The University of Alabama apologized Tuesday to the descendants of slaves who were owned by faculty members or who worked on campus in the years before the Civil War.
The apology -- approved overwhelmingly by the Faculty Senate -- was the first at the university and possibly the first of its kind in the nation, officials said.
It was also the second move by the school in recent days to acknowledge the university's historical ties to slavery.
Last Thursday, university officials announced the school will erect a marker near the graves of two slaves on the campus and place others on buildings where slaves once worked and lived.
Al Brophy, a white law professor who authored the apology, documented years of bondage at the university, which was founded in 1831 and mostly destroyed by Union troops at the close of the Civil War before it was rebuilt.
Two university presidents and some faculty members owned slaves during the years before the Civil War, Brophy found, and several of the oldest structures on campus contain bricks made by slaves.
Marvin Johnson, a music professor, spoke against the apology, saying there was no way faculty members could apologize for something that happened so long ago.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.