Relates to acknowledging that the institution of slavery was an appalling tragedy in the history of this state.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 137 of the laws of 1817 relating to slaves and servants, in relation to acknowledging the tragedy of slavery in New York state
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill acknowledges the tragedy of slavery in New York state and offers a formal apology from the State of New York for its role in perpetuating slavery.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. New York state government formally acknowledges and apologizes for the legalization and perpetuation of slavery and the slave trade in New York state.
JUSTIFICATION: For more than two hundred years slavery existed in what became New York state. New York state government not only legalized the enslavement of Africans and their descendants, but also enacted "slave codes," taxes on the sale of enslaved persons and fines payable to the local government or poor house administrators for violations of the "slave codes." In chapter 137 of the laws of 1 817, for example, New York state government provided for the gradual emancipation of enslaved persons by July 4, 1827. This statute however, also provided penalties for harboring an enslaved person or servant, and permitted an enslaved person to be abandoned at age 21 with certification by local government.
As the recently held World Conference Against Racism (Durban, South Africa, 2002) proclaimed in its final document, "... slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity and should always have been so.. York apologize for New York's role in the enslavement of Africans and their descendants.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009 - S.5646, Referred to Investigations & Government Operations 2007 - A.273B 2005 - A.7327
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill is effective immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1374 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 7, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. PERKINS, PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations AN ACT to amend chapter 137 of the laws of 1817 relating to slaves and servants, in relation to acknowledging the tragedy of slavery in New York state THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Chapter 137 of the laws of 1817 relating to slaves and servants is amended by adding a new section XXXII-a to read as follows: S XXXII-A. ACKNOWLEDGES THAT SLAVERY, THE TRANSATLANTIC AND THE DOMESTIC SLAVE TRADE WERE APPALLING TRAGEDIES IN THE HISTORY OF NEW YORK STATE NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THEIR ABHORRENT BARBARISM BUT ALSO IN TERMS OF THEIR MAGNITUDE, ORGANIZED NATURE AND ESPECIALLY THEIR NEGATION OF THE HUMANITY OF THE ENSLAVED PERSON. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE INSTITUTIONS OF SLAVERY AND THE SLAVE TRADE IN ENSLAVED PERSONS ARE NOW AND SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE BEEN CRIMES AGAINST THIS STATE AS WELL AS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK FORMALLY APOLOGIZES FOR ITS ROLE IN SANCTIONING, EXPLOITING AND PERPETUATING SLAVERY AND ITS VESTIGES, INCLUDING THE ENACTMENT OF SLAVE CODES THAT CREATED THE EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE OF CHILDREN, AND THE DISSOLUTION OF THEIR FAMILIES AS PERSONIFIED BY THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF SOJOURNER TRUTH. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02763-01-1