Prayer of Apology to African Americans

On behalf of myself, and on behalf of my country, to you and all African Americans, from the beginning of our nation’s history, in honor of your ancestors and for the sake of your children, please hear this from my heart…
I apologize,
please forgive us.

With this prayer I acknowledge the depth of evils that have been perpetrated against black people in America.
From slavery, to lynchings, to white supremacist laws, to the denial of voting rights, to all the ways both large and small, that abuses have occurred — all of them evil, all of them wrong.
For all the oppression and all the injustice…
I apologize,
please forgive us.

For the denial of human and civil rights, for inequities in criminal justice, for instances of police brutality, for the denial of opportunity, for economic injustice, for all ways that racism has fostered these wrongs…
I apologize,
please forgive us.

With this prayer I acknowledge the beauty and genius of your culture, the power and genius of those who came before you, of your children and all your descendants. With this prayer we pray that you, your children, and especially your men be blessed and protected.
May your men be blessed and protected.
May your men be blessed and protected.

May all your men, women and children be surrounded by angels at this time.

Dear God, may a great healing occur.
We place in your hands the relationship between black and white Americans.
May we be lifted high above the walls that divide us.
May our hearts be awakened to our truth of our oneness.
May racism and prejudice be no more.
May they dissolve in the presence of Your love.
Please come upon us and heal our hearts.

To you, my African American fellow citizen, please accept my apology on this day. It is to you and your grandparents, and their grandparents before them, and their grandparents before them.

May the screams that were not allowed, be allowed now.
May the cries that were never heard be heard now.
May the tears that were never heard be heard now.
And may the healing begin.

In this sacred container, may the healing begin.
May the Light of love now heal us all.

  • T Noelle

    Thank you for this.

  • Lynne Maureen Hurdle

    This is a beautiful prayer. It acknowledges so much and speaks sincerely from the heart. This is what this country needs to start healing this huge conflict. Let us open the door to conversation about this.

  • Laura Moore

    Dear Marianne,
    I really would like to thank you for your love and compassion for the African American population. You have displayed such Grace and strength in presenting your views concerning the mistreatment of African American. You are so regal and rare, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard such authentic compassion being expressed, and you are truly a blessing!

  • disqus_76IWPka2vZ

    Why are you racist? My grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather was kidnapped as a teenager in Aberdeen, Scotland and sold as a slave to a sea captain who sold him to a merchant in Philadelphia. Yes, I am white, blacks were not the only slaves sold by their countrymen.

  • Laila Bailey

    And because blacks were not the only slaves sold by their countrymen, what? What is your point? This is a beautiful, moving, heartfelt prayer of a woman who has been deeply impacted by a particular form of injustice. At one point or another, we all come to grips with the tremendous weight of certain injustices…domestic abuse, child sex slavery, etc., and we feel an overwhelming burden to express how we feel. Marianne is using her personal blog to express her personal views on a singular topic – in this case, an apology to African Americans. I would never aim to take away from the validity and pain of your ancestor’s experience. However, you have chosen an inappropriate forum to express your commentary. Give Marianne the grace to express how she feels. As adults, we have to learn to accept and understand the hurt/pain others might feel without making it “all about us” individually.

  • Anastacia

    Dear Marianne, your prayer is very thoughtful. God bless you. Stay encouraged! We shall overcome!

  • Mary Matthews


  • Mary Matthews

    Again,….WOW. And THANK U.

  • JoAnn

    Many years ago (over 25 years) I remember going to a lecture by Marianne. In this auditorium in Washington DC, full of over 100 people of many different ethnicities, colors, etc, Marianne did something I will NEVR forget. She had all of the African American persons stand and then she had persons not of African American origin stand next to these people. She then said the prayer of Apology. We then said our own words asking for forgiveness from these people whose ancestors had been so brutalized and treated terribly. At the end I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place. And it was the first time I ever realized how much my ancestors and I were responsible for slavery of another race we saw as less. How can anyone be less when we are all created in the image of Creator? I am so glad to see it in print here because I am a teacher of nursing students and want to share it with my students. Thank you Marianne for bringing to light something few Americans ever think about.