As Maryland residents commemorate Black History Month, what’s being called the racial reckoning of 2020 is barely in the rearview mirror. The Baltimore Sun asked residents to respond in short essays: What will it take to move the region ahead in 2021 and beyond?
- Wordsmith, a Baltimore-based songwriter and performer, wrote an essay for Black History Month telling Black people to raise youth to tell the truth and be a voice for reconciliation.
- It is our intention to follow the sage advice of Malcolm X, who once observed that if a man knocks you down unprovoked, you only have two choices. You can wait until the man who knocks you down to help you up or you can decide to get up on your own.
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- After the racial reckoning of 2020, Oyin Adedoyin, a senior at Morgan State University, says she is working to share stories about reducing health disparities in the region.
- Perry Jones, 68, Union Bridge mayor, says it is important that today's generation learn more about African-American history and the Black community.
- Kim Dobson Sydnor, dean of the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University, will lead the new Center for Urban Health Equity.
- The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, discusses reparations and says: If you steal something from somebody, you pay it back. You cannot hope to achieve reconciliation until you attempt to make that right.
- Ellington West, co-founder and CEO, Sonavi Labs, says she is working to improve the health of people in Baltimore by creating technology that is affordable and accessible for all.
- Kelli McCallum, lead nurse practitioner and operational field manager on MedStar Health’s mobile unit, says in a Black History Month essay, she's working to provide health care education and create health literacy to create an astronomical ripple effect.
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GAMES & TRIVIA
- Janice Moorehead Grant, 87, former Harford County NAACP president, says after a year of conflict and division, people need a change of heart.
- Northeast Baltimore’s Stonewood-Pentwood-Winston neighborhood is a deep-rooted, if aging enclave of 238 residences, most of them row homes like that owned by Frank Cherry, who settled here in 1974.
- Lawrence Brown, director of the Black Butterfly Academy, says in his Black History Month essay, that it's time for the Baltimore region to reckon with its 110-year legacy of apartheid.
- Danita Tolson, president of the NAACP Baltimore County Branch says in her Black History Month essay, all talk and no action, makes no change and does not bring justice.
- Vanessa Geffrard, who has degrees in community and public health, leads candid conversations about sexual health with women of color in Baltimore region.
- Janese Murray, founder and president of Inclusion Impact Consulting, says in her Black History Month essay, that Black people have had to figure out how to live and thrive in a system that is not built for them.