Howard County Lynching Truth and Reconciliation is deeply committed to compiling, and truthfully documenting and memorializing the history of lynchings and near-lynching activities that happened in Howard County. Knowing this history of sanctioned violence and terror (Truth) is an essential first step to understanding and healing from the ways in which it continues to impact many of us today (Reconciliation). Wishing not to make the mistake of rushing to reconciliation, we aim to provide a more accurate picture of the environment and climate in which the events occurred.
Advancing Truth and Reconciliation compels an inclusive and transparent process that is firmly rooted in moral Integrity in all and for all. The truth isn’t always pleasant, but it can be handled with compassion and mercy. To do this work, we must identify the ways in which power has driven – and continues to drive – the prevailing narratives.
We will be conducting community remembrance activities such as placing a historical marker and doing soil collection in conjunction with Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) protocols (reconciliation), as well as assisting the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission (see below) with its government mandate as they need. Please consider joining us in our efforts.
We can be reached by email at: admin@HoCoLTR.org
For volunteer opportunities, email volunteer@HoCoLTR.org
We are on Facebook also, as a private group. It is “Howard County MD Lynching Truth & Reconciliation” Follow us to keep apprised of what we’re doing.
MARYLAND LYNCHING TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
On April 18, 2019, Governor Hogan signed legislation HB307 which created the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission. That Commission is made up of appointed men and women who will serve a 3 year term. The Commission meets once per month (public can participate) to discuss various aspects of the Commission’s duties. They are going to conduct public hearings in the jurisdictions where lynchings are known to have occurred, and submit an interim and final report regarding Maryland lynchings at the conclusion of their tenure. The hearing concerning Howard County is tentatively scheduled for January 2022.
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), founded and led by Bryan Stevenson, has been looking into the legacy of slavery and its effects since their founding in 1989. They “..recently launched an ambitious national effort to create new spaces, markers, and memorials that address the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, which shapes many issues today.” (from their own words on their website). Their primary lynching data is of “racial terror lynchings”.
The Maryland Lynching Memorial Project was formed in March 2018 by documentary filmmaker, Will Schwarz. They are a 501(c)(3) “..that works to advance the cause of reconciliation in our state by documenting the history of racial terror lynchings, advocating for public acknowledgement of these murders and working to honor and dignify the lives of the victims.“ (from its website) WE ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE MLMP.
*the map background image on our home page is a section of a larger map from the Maryland State Archives, and can be accessed by visiting: http://slavery.msa.maryland.gov/html/mapped_images/ellicottsmills.html