Here is the latest news from the counties.
If there is no information below for your county and you are interested in joining or forming a community coalition there, please write us here:
(Report courtesy of Monica Lindsey)
CTD Remembrance and Reconciliation Project Anne Arundel County proudly held 2 important events in our community. In December, a Remembrance of Henry Davis who was brutalized and lynched in Annapolis was presented to almost 100 attendees. In February, our coalition organized screenings of BURN: The Lynching of George Armwood, An Outrage and an EJI animated film Slavery to Mass Incarceration. The films were followed by a panel discussion. The event was held at Maryland Hall and attended by over 300 people.
Honored to be approved by EJI, our coalition is working together to bring an historical marker and memorial to Anne Arundel County. Negotiations for the placement of the marker are in progress. The members of the Coalition met with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and County Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien who whole heartedly support the initiative. In addition, letters requesting meetings with additional Council members were sent and are awaiting responses. A recent meeting with Annapolis Mayor Buckley also generated full support to the efforts of reconciliation and remembrance.
Once a location for the marker is determined, there will be an EJI essay/scholarship opportunity for AA County public school students and a ceremony for unveiling of the marker. At this time exact dates are TBD and will be announced as soon as possible. We are also working on our future plans to open an education center to teach about the history and present of racism. Please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the first activities undertaken by the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project last year was a soil collection at the old Baltimore County jail in Towson, site of the 1885 lynching of Howard Cooper.
One of those in attendance, public historian Jenny Liles, was moved by the occasion to investigate the case on her own. She provided this brief account of what she's discovered in a recent newsletter:
“Following the soil collection ceremony I felt determined to locate the mother and learn more about Howard Cooper's family history. No article on his case gave a detailed description of his family or identified any family members by name. The few accounts which quoted or spoke of his mother only made reference to her as "his mother." Her name was never mentioned.
“My initial research uncovered an 1870 census record which listed Howard with his mother (Henrietta), his twin brother (Henry), an aunt (Celesta) and his grandparents (David and Louisa Davis). That census recorded the twins' age as only 6 months old, meaning Howard Cooper could not have been older than 15 years at the time of his murder.
“According to the record, the family lived in Towsontowne (9th district) and worked as farm hands and domestic servants. This initial discovery gave me the clues I needed to continue to research Cooper's family and life before and after his lynching on July 13, 1885.
“More recently I have discovered a marriage certificate, court records and have even located, and have spoken to, living relatives of Howard Cooper. A more detailed account of this research will be published soon on the MD Lynching Memorial Project website.”
A meeting to organize an effort to install an historical marker to memorialize Cooper’s lynching will be held soon. If you are interested in attending, please contact us:
See Harford County notes
March 27, 2019 Meeting Notes (courtesy of Dr. Teisha Wilson)
Welcome given by Dr. Iris Leigh Barnes Names of the Harford County lynching victims were read by members of the committee, followed by a moment of silence
Dr. Barnes discussed the inspiration behind this effort and referenced Equal Justice Initiative community remembrance projects and the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project Conference that was held in October of 2018 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture
Dr. Stephanie A. Hallock, Professor of Political Science at Harford Co. Community College, discussed why this work matters and highlighted a number of reasons why we must address Harford Co.’s lynching past. Dr. Hallock discussed how the criminal justice system is rooted in the legacy of lynching, how federal government failed to protect civil liberties, structural poverty, racial stereotyping and institutionalized racial injustice.
Mr. Will Schwarz provided background on lynchings in Maryland and discussed how and why the MD Lynching Memorial Project was created. Mr. Schwarz showed two films including, BURN: The Lynching of George Armwood and EJI’s film Abbeville.
Dr. Michael Dixon gave a presentation on the lynchings that occurred in Cecil County, Maryland, which the committee has agreed to include in this project.
Committee members, Mr. Christopher Providence and Dr. Lisa Tuzo, led a discussion on lynchings and invited meeting attendees to give their feedback on what they learned at the program. Mr. Providence and Dr. Tuzo also solicited thoughts and ideas from the audience on how to move forward with this project. Ideas from the attendees included: 1) a need for more research on Harford County lynchings, 2) the need for more education on this topic, searching for information on unknown victims, 3) recognizing the anti-lynching efforts of Ida B. Wells, 4) developing a forum regarding lynching and trying to solicit the participation of diverse groups, 5) addressing why lynching history is not taught in Maryland schools, 6) the importance of humanizing the victims, 7) recognizing the impact that lynching had on the criminal justice system, 8) reconciliation, 9) enrolling the county government in this initiative, 10) the collecting of oral history, 11) soil collection at lynching sites, and 12) a possible “field trip” to EJI in Montgomery, AL.
Dr. Dianna G. Phillips, President of Harford County Community College, offered remarks and stated that the Harford County Committee had the full support of the college.
Dr. Barnes and Mr. Schwarz gave closing remarks and informed the attendees that they would receive an email with information regarding the date and time for the committee’s next public meeting. They offered “thank yous” and encouraged everyone to take the literature that was provided by EJI.
If you are interested in attending the next meeting of the Harford County Committee, please contact us.
Plans are underway to hold an organizational meeting in Howard County. If you’d like to be notified when details are available, please contact us:
Following an initial organizational meeting in December, and months of work, the Montgomery County coalition under the leadership of historian Tony Cohen is preparing to submit a proposal to EJI for the purpose of holding soil collection ceremonies at the sites of the three known lynchings to have been committed in the county. In January, the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a resolution, proposed by Councilmember Hans Reimer, to establish a Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission. The Director of the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, Jim Stowe, is leading that effort for the county.
Here is a feature about the creation of the Montgomery County Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj3xbFZYpvk
Here is a feature about Tony Cohen’s presentation on the January 1880 lynching of Jim Peck in Poolesville: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwpI9PcfbxU&feature=youtu.be
If you’d like to join the Montgomery County group, write to Laurel Hoa at: email@example.com and ask to have your email address added to the list serve.
March 24, 2019 Meeting Notes (courtesy of Leeann Irwin)
Over 35 people met at University Christian Church, Hyattsville, Maryland to begin forming a County wide Maryland Lynching Memorial Project. Rev. Nathan Hill was the host with Will Schwarz giving some history of the state wide effort and updating the participants with news of what other counties are doing and have done. Two powerful films were viewed: BURN: The Lynching of George Armwood by Will Schwarz and Abbeville, a film from the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).
Some basic facts about the five documented lynchings in Prince George’s County were presented. Discussion continued with some explanations of the resources and community remembrance project protocols of EJI. Many issues were raised including the need to have trauma experts on hand for ongoing support, the importance of including reconciliation in our work and what ways to do outreach and publicity. Brief reports of local Hyattsville history and current efforts on topics of racism and deed issues were presented. Members of the Montgomery County and Harford County efforts spoke about some of the work their groups are currently doing.
The next meeting is Sunday, April 28 beginning at 2 PM at University Christian Church in Hyattsville. Chair of the county group is Mayor Candace Hollingsworth with Reverent Nathan Hill also in leadership. To register for the April 28 meeting, please click here:
The Wicomico Truth and Reconciliation Initiative (WTRI) is a grassroots coalition of community members who are dedicated to addressing Wicomico County's history of racial violence and promoting community engagement and healing.
The work leading up to the founding of this initiative started in 2016, with members of the former group Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Delmarva and Fenix Youth Project Inc holding a candlelight vigil for the memory of Matthew Williams.
This led to the fall of 2017 where our community took part in a soil collection for the 7 victims of both Wicomico and Somerset counties through the Equal Justice Initiative Community Remembrance Project:
With the official launch of the WTRI, we have focused on slowly but steadily educating and calling community members and groups into the work of “Telling The Truth”. Meetings with the Salisbury City Human Rights Advisory Committee as well as local NAACP branch 7028 have led to the beginnings of coalition building, though there is much farther to go, especially in the work of drawing the connections between these historical racial terror lynchings and the present day.
Facebook and Instagram: @TellTheTruthWicomico