CONOWINGO, Maryland, May 20, 2014 — The concluding program observing the 150th anniversary of emancipation in Maryland paid tribute to the memory of those who sought or fought for freedom from slavery. On this Saturday in mid-spring, spiritual and cultural leaders on the shore of the Susquehanna River in Cecil County, honored ancestors, planted a tree, and poured libations, while acclaiming the lifework of those who struggled to free themselves and the country from slavery.
Spirituals and freedom songs set the atmosphere, as the Rev. Brenda White of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church offered reflections for “Gather at the Banks.
“Rev. White’s words, containing a call for action, were inspiring. “Not much is written and we are at a point where even those who were around in World War II are transitioning from us,” she said while urging people to record their own history and document their experiences for future generations. “So it becomes our calling at family reunions and holiday gatherings to capture the voices of those that were before us. We’ve got digitizing now. Get their voices, so that their great, great, great-grandchildren will know about the times. Ask them for their photographs. They got them somewhere and begin to put the stories and the history together. Get the oral history and write it down,” she urged.
Rev. White, thank you for the stirring words and for being an advocate for making sure the stories of earlier times are carried forward in time. It is so important that we trace and record the past as time moves rapidly on.
This program was sponsored by Hosanna School Museum in Darlington and Harford Community College. Click here to read more about the series and this event.