Alabama history agency admits perpetuating systemic racism

National/World

In this Feb. 28, 2019, photo a worker adjusts a banner celebrating Alabama’s bicentennial outside the Department of Archives and History in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama’s main state history agency is acknowledging that it helped perpetuate systemic racism by promoting Confederate narratives while ignoring those of Black people, a “statement of recommitment” issued Tuesday, June 23, 2020 by the Alabama Department of Archives and History said. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s main state history agency is acknowledging that it helped perpetuate systemic racism by promoting Confederate narratives while ignoring those of Black people.

A “statement of recommitment” issued Tuesday by the Alabama Department of Archives and History says the state agency was founded in 1901 to both preserve records and promote “lost cause” ideals favored by Southern whites. The statement says the agency has taken steps to change in recent decades. But it’s still staffed mainly by white people, especially in its leadership and archival and curatorial staffs. The statement says the agency is rededicating itself to telling a fuller story of Alabama.

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