North Carolina joined Maryland and Virginia by becoming the third state in the nation to formally apologize for slavery after the state House approved Senate and House resolutions on the issue. The resolutions were approved unanimously after a 2 1/2 hour debate. They also included apologies for the state's Jim Crow laws and other legalized segregation dating to the 17th century. Several lawmakers expressed hope that the discussion will lead to a longer debate on how the vestiges of slavery and racism still permeate our society. We need to continue to consider proposals aimed at eliminating racial disparities.