Edward Ball’s ancestors owned more than 4,000 slaves and a dozen plantations in South Carolina. On The Oprah Show in 1998, Edward came face-to-face with the relatives of slaves his family owned. On behalf of his family, Edward offered them this apology: “I want to say that I’m sorry for the suffering that my family caused your family so many years ago, and for such a long time. And saying that, we haven’t reached the end of the journey, we haven’t even come to the middle. But we might have just put our feet up on the path and taken the first small steps toward understanding. I ask your forgiveness.” 

Watch their conversation. 

“That was a moment. I think we could all see the healing power of that apology, even 38 years later,” Oprah says.


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