Source: (2006) Western Journal of Communication. 70(3): 186-211.

Reconciliation apologies such as Representative Tony Hall's proposed congressional apology for slavery and his own apology at a reconciliation conference in Benin, West Africa raise questions about the means and standards by which representative apologies for historic group offenses may prove satisfactory. This essay explores such questions in light of John Hatch's theory of reconciliation and an analysis of Hall's apology in the context of the Benin conference. In conversation with the work of Erik Doxtader, Mark McPhail, Aaron Gresson, and Nicholas Tavuchis, the essay clarifies ways in which a public reconciliation apology differs from traditional apologia and the unique challenges confronting public discourse for racial reconciliation in the US. (Author's Abstract)