Maryland gains national attention as first state to create 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. And the rest of the country is taking note.
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.” The full text of the op-ed Dr. Creary wrote for the Baltimore Sun can be read HERE.
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.
Maryland’s new law is gaining national attention. The bill was endorsed by Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and a feature praising its passage was published on the EJI website. You can read that article HERE.
Packed house enjoys benefit performance of Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett at Morgan State
Some 120 supporters of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project attended a special benefit performance of Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett on Saturday evening, April 27 at the Turpin-Lamb Theater in Morgan State’s Murphy Fine Arts Center. The one-act play is an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, both victims of racial intolerance and hatred.
The playwright, Janet Langhart Cohen, joined guests at a pre-performance reception along with her husband, former Defense Secretary and US Senator William Cohen. After a moving and emotionally charged performance, Ms. Langhart Cohen graciously joined cast and crew members for a talk-back with the audience.
Ms. Langhart Cohen's extraordinary kindness, generosity, consideration and genuine interest in everyone she met made the experience memorable for everyone fortunate enough to have been at the Murphy Fine Arts Center on that evening.