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Black History Month Voices: Carl Snowden | Commentary


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.

The essays have been edited for clarity and length.

The Caucus of African-American Leaders, a consortium of organizations, churches and leaders, is working for equity in the media. We realize that if you see a squeegee kid, it is important to define who he is and why he is in the condition that he is in. How they are portrayed in the media speaks volumes.

Every day, motorists will see young people on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard or some other street in the region. The challenge community leaders face is: What will they do about it?

The consortium is using all of our resources to create a new paradigm, one that recognizes there are some things that a government cannot, will not and should not do.

We intended to follow the sage advice of Malcolm X: You can wait until the man who knocks you down helps you up or you can decide to get up on your own.

Our goal is simple: Do those things for yourself that no one else will or can.

You cannot change the past, but you can shape the future. The choice is ours.

— Compiled by Rick Hutzell

picture carl snowden

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