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The Maryland Freedom Summer: July 19, 2021

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

On July 19, 2021, a consortium of civic organizations and elected officials departed from Annapolis, MD and traveled across the Eastern Shore to stand up against police brutality and misconduct.

The Caucus of African American Leaders, the Anne Arundel County Branch NAACP, 100 Black Men of Anne Arundel County, Freedom Fighters, the United Black Clergy, and Connecting the Dots organized the Maryland Freedom Summer bus ride in the spirit of the Freedom Rides of the 1960s to demand accountability. Other participating groups included March On Maryland, Showing Up for Racial Justice of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, the C.A.S.T. of Anne Arundel County, South County is Kind, and many, many others.

The Freedom Ride was in response to two very recent incidents where two Black teenaged boys who were allegedly vaping on the Ocean City Boardwalk were tased or beaten by police.

Notable attendees were the Hon. Carl Snowden, Bishop Antonio Palmer, Dave Grogan, Rev. Marguerite Morris, Del. Sandy Bartlett, AAC NAACP President Jacqueline Allsup, Maryland State NAACP President Willie Flowers, Dee Goodwyn, Lynda Davis, Monica Lindsey, Drake Smith, Mary Dadone, and Sarah Blaser.

The Riders made stops that are important to the history of civil rights in Maryland. The stops were:

  • Annapolis, MD at the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial & the Anne Arundel County Lynching Memorial Marker.

  • Easton, MD at the Talbot County Courthouse. The Riders stood in solidarity with the Move the Monument group, who have been organizing for the removal of the Talbot Boys statue- the last memorial to the confederacy on public land in Maryland.

  • Cambridge, MD at the Harriet Tubman Memorial Garden.

  • Salisbury, MD at the Wicomico County Lynching Memorial Marker, the sister marker to the one in Annapolis. Both were installed in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative.

  • Ocean City, MD at City Hall, followed by a march down the same boardwalk where two Black teenagers were mistreated by Ocean City police.

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