A South Carolina city, once a crucial slave trading port, approved a symbolic resolution on Tuesday denouncing slavery, with the promise of change.
Charleston City Council voted to apologize for the city’s role it played in the slave trade, and proposed an office of racial reconciliation.
The majority-white 12 member council voted in a city hall that is located less than a mile from the old wharf, where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first stepped foot on American soil.
Two members of the council said they would not vote for the resolution.
Councilman Perry Waring cited a need to focus on economic development as the basis for his opposition. Fellow councilman Harry Joseph Griffin said passing the resolution would have implications, and added that the city needed to address other issues facing the city.
The vote coincided with “Juneteenth,” a celebration of the end of slavery, and came just two days after the third anniversary of a racist attack by a white man who killed nine black members of a Charleston church.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.