TALLAHASSEE — As a black senator openly wept, the Florida Senate issued an apology Wednesday morning for the state's ''shameful'' history in enslaving black people and passing laws that called for savage lashings and even the nailing of their ears to posts for crimes like burglary.
''The Legislature expresses its profound regret for Florida's role in sanctioning and perpetuating involuntary servitude upon generations of African slaves,'' said the resolution, pushed for years by Democratic Jacksonville Sen. Tony Hill.
During the reading of the resolution and the recounting of the slave codes passed by the Territorial Council in 1822 and struck down in 1868 — three years after the Civil War — Sen. Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa Democrat, sobbed. ''I knew the facts but, to hear it put in those terms, I just fell apart,'' she said.
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