Andrea Mcdaniels | February. 13, 2020
We all know about Frederick Douglass, the great Maryland abolitionist and orator, and Harriett Tubman, who led fellow slaves from Maryland on perilous trips to freedom.
Ms. Tubman in particular has received long overdue recognition in recent years, including a motion picture based on her life, a state park in her honor and a statue at the State House in Annapolis. Yeoman efforts to replace Andrew Jackson’s image on the $20 bill with that of the great conductor of the Underground Railroad were also made, though thwarted by the Trump administration.
And while Marylanders should be proud and celebrate these great historic figures, Black History Month also offers a time to celebrate other African American heroes who have made great contributions to the state, but not garnered the same public attention. These are people who fought so that African Americans could have better political representation, economic opportunities and basic civil rights. Their fight is even more relevant as some of those same issues have reappeared.
We can use the work of political think tank Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle as a cheat sheet. The group began chronicling important political figures in Baltimore a couple of years ago. Among other things, they hoped to learn from the activists and political scions of the past, rather than try to reinvent the wheel. This year, the group put the names of eight of these people on a T-shirt.
“There are lot of black people that a lot of us did not know that set up the foundation for the political work that we do,” said Chief Executive Officer Adam J. Jackson. “People way smarter than us, way more experienced than us, did this way before we were born, and we should follow their lead.”
Represented on the t-shirt are:
Stories about African Americans not celebrated enough can also be found at The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. Earlier this week, the museum celebrated Gloria Richardson Day in honor of the woman who led The Cambridge Movement fight for equality in the Eastern Shore town.
The list of people I have noted is not meant to be all inclusive. There are plenty of more people that fought the good fight, so that African Americans had chances at better lives.
Much respect to all of those people as well.
Source: The Baltimore Sun