HB 307 is law: Maryland the first state to create a Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The cause of TRUTH took a major step forward on April 18 when Governor Hogan signed HB 307 into law, creating the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

The measure authorizes the Commission to hold public hearings around the state to investigate the 40 plus racial terror lynchings that were committed in Maryland, The law acknowledges that no one was ever charged in connection with any of these crimes and that government entities were often complicit in committing them and in concealing the identities of those responsible. The act further notes that, "Restorative justice requires a full knowledge, understanding and acceptance of the truth before there can be any meaningful reconciliation,"

The full text of the law can be read HERE.

Dr. Nicholas Creary, a board member of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, helped write the law. He explains, “The Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission (LTRC) seeks justice for families and communities of the victims of racial terror lynching in Maryland… It will also provide opportunities for the responsible parties’ families and communities to apologize and make amends in order to heal the damage to African American communities across the State of Maryland for the wanton murder of their men in racial terror lynchings. Martinican poet and politician Aimé Césaire asserted that the perpetrators of violence were made brutes by their acts of violence. The LTRC, therefore, offers an opportunity to restore the humanity of both victims and perpetrators of violence. It will also provide a means to stop the silencing of African American communities that was an integral element of racial terror lynchings.”

Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D, 21st District, Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties), is the primary sponsor of the bill which passed both Houses of the General Assembly unanimously.

Earlier, the bill was endorsed by Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. In his letter of support, Mr. Stevenson affirms his belief that America can recover from its history of racial injustice, “but in order to achieve that healing, we must truthfully confront the violence and the silence surrounding the legacies of this violence.”

You can read the full text of Mr. Stevenson’s letter: HERE.


Special Benefit Performance Set for April 27, 2019 at Morgan State University

Tickets are going FAST! Buy yours NOW!

We are happy to announce that a special benefit performance of Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett will be held on Saturday evening, April 27 at the Turpin-Lamb Theater in Morgan State’s Murphy Fine Arts Center.

The acclaimed one-act play is an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, both victims of racial intolerance and hatred. Frank is the 13-year-old Jewish girl whose Diary provided a gripping perspective of the Holocaust. Till is the 14-year old African-American boy whose brutal murder in Mississippi sparked the modern American civil rights movement.

There will be a special VIP wine and cheese reception at 6:00p prior to the performance which will provide an opportunity to meet the playwright, Janet Langhart Cohen, and her husband, former Defense Secretary and US Senator William Cohen.

The performance begins at 7:30p. Afterwards, the audience is invited to participate in a talk-back with members of the cast and crew.

This will be a moving and thought-provoking evening of theater you won't want to miss! Order your tickets now!

A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project.