We need you, please join us this Tuesday!! There will be a Talbot County Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 14 at 6:00 p.m which will include resolutions being introduced regarding the monument. Don't forget to wear a yellow shirt if you have one. See you there! View the agenda here. Watch live here.
On Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m., the Move the Monument Coalition provided an opportunity for the community to learn more about the lawsuit challenging the Talbot Boys Confederate Monument.
On May 5, the ACLU, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, the Talbot County Branch of the NAACP, Attorney Kisha Petticolas, and Richard M. Potter, president of the Talbot County branch of the NAACP, joined with the Washington, D.C., law firm Crowell & Moring, LLP, to file suit in federal district court in Baltimore challenging as racist and illegal Talbot County’s placement and retention of the Confederate monument on the grounds of the county courthouse in Easton — the last on non-federal public land in Maryland.
Daniel Wolff with Crowell & Moring, the lead attorney in the case, gave some background on the lawsuit filed against Talbot County as well as provided an update on its status.
Mr. Wolff, working with the ACLU, upon announcing the lawsuit, stressed the blatant incongruity between what the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees to Black citizens and how Talbot County treats Black citizens by dint of maintaining a statue glorifying white supremacy on the courthouse grounds.
The two individual plaintiffs, Richard Potter and Kisha Petticolas, spoke about how and why they joined the lawsuit. Dana Vickers Shelley, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland, spoke about why this racist monument to violence and oppression, put up during the height of the Jim Crow era when such symbols were erected to put fear into formerly enslaved people, must be removed.
Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen appeared at a virtual town hall on June 14, cosponsored by the Move the Monument Coalition and the Talbot County NAACP in support of moving the Confederate monument from Talbot’s courthouse lawn.
The town hall came five days before a planned march and rally on Saturday, June 19, in Easton calling for the County Council to vote to remove the statue, erected in 1916 in the Jim Crow era. It also came weeks after the NAACP and ACLU among others filed a federal lawsuit against the county charging that the presence of the monument on the courthouse lawn is both unconstitutional and illegal.
Van Hollen’s presence at the town hall affirms his support of the coalition’s efforts to move the Confederate statue, the last remaining on nonfederal public property in Maryland.
Denice Lombard, a leader in the Move the Monument Coalition, said the senator’s presence at the town hall will send a powerful message before the June 19 march and rally. “Senator Van Hollen brings a national and state perspective in support of our efforts. We speak for much of Talbot County and the rest of the state in saying it’s past time to remove the last Confederate monument from nonfederal public land. Let’s bring Talbot County into a new day ‘with liberty and justice for all.’”
Richard Potter, head of the Talbot chapter of the NAACP and an individual plaintiff in the lawsuit, agreed. “We appreciate the senator’s ongoing support in our efforts to see justice done for all Talbot County’s residents,” he said. “The time is now to get rid of this racist symbol.”
Civil War Memories: Commemoration on the Courthouse Lawn
On Tuesday, May 18th Jean Wortman presented a lecture based on her 2015 Master of Liberal Arts Capstone Project from Johns Hopkins University which was titled “Contested Space: Race and Memory on the Talbot County Courthouse Lawn.”
Ms. Wortman considered questions like these:
- How has the memory of the Civil War and Talbot County’s role in it been shaped by the Confederate statue that has stood on the courthouse lawn since 1916?
- What is the history of the Talbot Boys statue and the proposed monument to the Union soldiers?
- If monuments are a reflection of the social, economic, and cultural factors of the time in which they are erected, what was happening in Talbot County between 1912 and 1916?
Jean Wortman has an avid interest and many years’ experience in public history and museum education. She has worked or volunteered at many places in and around Talbot County and the Eastern Shore including the Starr Center at Washington College, Heart of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, Talbot Historical Society, Talbot County Free Library, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and Maryland Humanities.
The Move the Monument Coalition presents a video by Zoom of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II discussing the history of Confederate monuments in the U.S. in the context of the foundations of slavery and racism: evil economics, bad biology, sick sociology, political pathology and heretical ontology. In this video Rev. Dr. Barber takes us through the historical context from slavery and the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, to the present.
This video was created by the Catawba County Truth and Reconciliation Committee (CCT&RC), and will be presented by Kenyon Kelly, its cochair. As one of many movements nationwide to remove Confederate monuments, the CCT&RC is demanding that the Confederate monument be removed from the courthouse grounds in Newton, North Carolina as it “glorifies the effort to preserve the institution of slavery and white supremacy in Catawba County.” Mr. Kelly will begin the program with an overview of their efforts to date. The stated goal of the CCT&RC is to “unify, heal, honor truth, contextualize history, uplift and empower marginalized voices.”
Thursday, March 11 at 6:30 “Myths and Fallacies about the Talbot Boys Confederate statue and Talbot County during the Civil War” by Dominic Terrone who taught Civil War history at Anne Arundel Community College.
In our second online presentation honoring Black History Month, the Move the Monument Coalition will host the showing of two 12-minute videos at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25, on the origin, growth and persistence of the Lost Cause mythology. The videos, which examine the false narrative about the Civil War consciously promulgated by Confederate sympathizers, were created by Rev. Rovan Wernsdorfer of Baltimore and are part of a monthly Zoom series titled “Baltimore’s Racial History.” (email@example.com)
Rev. Wernsdorfer is a former Episcopal priest, with degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA. His family has roots in Maryland going back to the War of 1812. He is also an avid amateur historian, with a current focus on African American history and institutional racism.
As a part of Black History Month, two professors will explore the connection between Confederate symbols and the Civil Rights Movements a half century ago and today in a virtual event sponsored by Move the Monument Coalition. The event will also look at how acknowledging Talbot County’s own history of racial injustice can begin the process of healing.
Dr. Kirkland Hall of Princess Anne, MD experienced Jim Crow firsthand as he attended segregated schools and was barred from drinking from public drinking fountains. He is a former professor at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and is currently a commissioner on the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He produced the video “Burn: The Lynching of George Armwood.” Armwood was lynched on Oct. 18, 1933 in Princess Anne, the last recorded lynching in Maryland.
Local author Anne Farris Rosen is an award-winning freelance journalist who splits her time between Washington, D.C. and Tilghman Island. She has worked for The New York Times, The Washington Post and the BBC. She teaches “News Coverage of Racial Issues” at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and coauthored “Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist” with her father, former New York Times correspondent John N. Herbers (1923-2017), who covered the Civil Rights Movement for more than a decade.
"Veterans Speak Out Against the Confederate Statue"
Thank you to Mia Mason, Carl Tankersly, and Jim Richardson for your insightful and powerful words.
We will gather on the courthouse lawn to peacefully protest the confederate monument. This rally will embrace the theme of social justice. Keith Watts, Michael Pullen, JoAnn Asparagus, and descendant, Ryan Ewing will be speaking. Click below to view Ryan Ewing's speech, more speeches from the night are available on our Facebook page here and here.
Remember when we told you Mr. Divilio declined to meet with faith leaders? The request was formerly brought before the council last night. Below is the disappointing exchange.