South Carolina City Apologizes To Black Residents For Systemic Racism

A woman was brought to tears in Spartanburg, South Carolina Monday night (September 28) after the city council formerly apologized to Black residents for demolishing neighborhoods in the 1970s, according to USA Today

Brenda Lee Pryce,72, said she never thought she would live to see this apology. The former S.C. representative was born and raised in the city’s south side, which once served as the city’s Black downtown during segregation.

Back in the 1970s, the city underwent urban renewal efforts that involved demolishing blight areas to create better housing and more opportunities. 

Those opportunities never came, Black-owned businesses and several Black neighborhoods were demolished, and families were left displaced.

“The city council unanimously approved a resolution that acknowledges systematic racism and includes an apology to Black residents like Pryce ‘for racial injustices and long-lasting inequities’ that have resulted from past city policies,” the website reported. 

A standing ovation followed the vote. Pryce said she felt overwhelmed as the city apologized for the failed redevelopment efforts. 

“This means everything to me,” she said. 

The council won’t stop at the resolution, however. They affirmed that they will do better in the future by making sure funding decisions and policies are focused on racial equity. 

“We want you to hold us accountable to the work that needs to be done,” said Councilwoman Erica Brown. “There’s so much more work to be done.”

Photo: Getty Images

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