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Black History Month Voices: Wordsmith | Commentary

Wordsmith a Baltimore-based songwriter and performer reads his essay for Black History Month.

Maryland residents are commemorating Black History Month by studying and celebrating the past. Meanwhile, what’s being called the racial reckoning of 2020 is barely in the rearview mirror. Those recent events — Black people killed by police and marches demanding systemic change — are prompting some Baltimore-area residents to explore what needs to be done to ensure there is substantial progress toward achieving racial justice and equity.

The Baltimore Sun asked residents: What will it take to move the region ahead in 2021 and beyond? Specifically what do they want to change, and how will they help make those changes happen? Each week this month, we are sharing some of their comments about how they hope to move forward after a tumultuous 2020.

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The essays have been edited for clarity and length.

Wordsmith (Anthony Parker), 41, hip-hop artist, artistic partner for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

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Wordsmith, a Baltimore-based songwriter and performer, wrote an essay for Black History Month.
Wordsmith, a Baltimore-based songwriter and performer, wrote an essay for Black History Month. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)

The only constant in life is change, yet racial equality remains stagnant.

Political aspirations put us at the doorstep of a broken democracy.

Lies poisoned the waters with one drink of conspiracy while the streets became flooded with protests of Black inequalities.

How do we get ahead? It’s called unity!

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Start a business or nonprofit. Think of the optics in the Black community.

When you can see yourself in the highest position, that’s some real recognition that all is possible when the obstacle is no admission.

The blueprint is laid, and it’s called inspiration.

Let’s raise our youth to tell the truth and be a voice for reconciliation.

Pay it forward and Black lives will thrive in this historic inauguration.

— Compiled by Mary Carole McCauley

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