MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama Department of Archives and History is acknowledging their role in distorting Alabama’s racial history.

The department said for many years, the building itself wasn’t very welcoming to Black Americans. They say much of that had to do with the lack of history and contributions of Black Alabamians.

The Alabama Department of Archives & History mission statement says, “We tell the story of the people of Alabama by preserving records and artifacts of historical value and promoting a better understanding of Alabama history.”

Well, now they’re admitting they haven’t always lived up to that.

“Good history is complicated history, and it takes time and energy to really have those kinds of thorough discussions that we advocate,” director Steve Murray said.

Murray said they’re recommitting its mission of portraying the full history of slavery and systemic racism.

Recently, Murray sent out a memo of what he calls the “statement of re-commitment.” In the memo, the department acknowledged systemic racism remains a reality in American society, despite the belief in racial equality.

“We want this to be an institution where all people feel welcome and where all people feel like their stories are being represented,” he said.

The archives department said they also plan to make staffing changing to reflect the racial make-up in Alabama.