Olivier Knox; 19/6/09
The US Senate approved a fiercely worded resolution formally apologising for the “fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery” of African-Americans. The unanimous voice vote came five months after Barack Obama became the first black US president, and ahead of the June 19 “Juneteenth” celebration of the emancipation of African-Americans at the end of the US Civil War in 1865. The non-binding resolution now heads to the House of Representatives, where a similar resolution passed by voice vote in July 2008, only to wither in the upper chamber. House approval, which could come as early as next week, would make it the first time the entire US Congress has formally apologised on behalf of the American people for one of the grimmest wrongs in US history.