The state Senate's apology for slavery last week at the General Assembly had many legislators talking about past racial injustices. But others hope the focus on discrimination will open doors to pass more laws to help black citizens today.
Senator Malcolm Graham of Mecklenburg County talked during the emotional debate about continued inequities in funding for historically black colleges and government contracts for black-owned businesses that should be righted.
Others want to give financial compensation to victims of a state-sponsored sterilization program during the mid-20th century. They also want economic incentives to rebuild areas of Wilmington damaged during a race riot in 1898.
Representative Earline Parmon of Forsyth County has filed compensation and slavery apology bills in the House. She says that the forced sterlization program is a product of slavery and Jim Crow laws that labeled blacks as second-class people.