This February, the Maryland Democratic Party proudly recognizes Black History Month, and honors the many Black Marylanders who have shaped our state and our nation.
Maryland is proud to be the home or birthplace for some of history’s greatest Black leaders and barrier breakers. A state whose history represents an all too familiar duality — originally defined by the evil of the Atlantic slave trade, we helped give birth to the movements of abolition, civil rights, and Black Lives Matter. Our state’s Black leaders have defined generations and inspired millions; Marylanders like Frederick Douglass; Harriet Tubman; Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; and of course, Baltimore’s Congressman Elijah Cummings. As we honor their everlasting legacy, we must also pledge to continue their fight for equal justice under law, liberty, and opportunity for all.
This long tradition of extraordinary trailblazers is continued by the Black Marylanders who currently serve our state. In the Maryland General Assembly, House Speaker Adrienne Jones is the first African American and the first woman to ever hold the position, and in Congress, we are proud to be represented by Reps. Kweisi Mfume and Anthony Brown. In our own organization, Party Chair Yvette Lewis and Executive Director Eva Lewis make the Maryland Democratic Party the first, and only, state Party in the nation to be led by African American women in both leadership roles.
We also cannot recognize Black History Month without recognizing our country’s first Black woman Vice President, Kamala D. Harris. A proud HBCU grad, Vice President Harris has shown that there is no limit to what can be accomplished in America.
In these difficult, uncertain times, having strong Black leaders that truly represent the people of Maryland is more important than ever. The Black Lives Matter movement has laid bare the systemic racism that still exists in America and shown the desperate need for criminal justice reform. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate toll exposed deep inequalities in our social, political, and economic systems.
This is why, as we recognize Black History Month, we must renew our commitment to improving the lives of Maryland’s Black communities by uplifting our leading voices, supporting policies that will address systemic racism, and electing candidates who will fight to end inequality and reform our criminal justice system.