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Baltimore church to remove plaques

Baltimore church to remove plaques

A post from Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore.

Earlier this year the church posted a study of its name and its role in segregation. Find that study here. Among the findings:

  • The men for whom this Church is a Memorial enslaved people and, as did several rectors to come, actively supported the Confederacy and the institution of slavery.

  • The fact that our church was founded, in part, as a breaking up with the abolitionists in our ‘mother church’ down the hill in Mt. Vernon

  • Our longest serving rector, William Meade Dame was an avowed segregationist who sought to keep the Church, the neighborhood, and the city, white.

  •  Historical vestry minutes clearly show our ancestors promoted discriminatory real estate and neighborhood design practices that were designed to “protect the whiteness of Bolton Hill” and they even fired a rector who tried to welcome our African American neighbors.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

[The Rev. Grey] Maggiano said the North Baltimore church would also study removing a triptych that was offered as a memorial to Dame, “a confederate veteran and leader of Jim Crow and Segregation efforts in Baltimore and here in Bolton Hill for more than 40 years.”

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Zachary Harmon

Proud of how this parish makes a good decision to confront the history of slavery and uplift African-American voices and perspectives in the parish. From the post: “Third, something that has become abundantly clear in the last few weeks is that the black voices in our congregation who said it was okay to keep and contextualize the plaques were doing so largely to say what they thought we wanted them to say; to keep the peace. As The Right Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows recently said “It is hard to tell the stories of racial trauma to the people who have the power to make things different and won’t.” We have collectively been those people, in large and small ways. Now is a good a time as any to stop.”

B. D. Howes

How far is far enough? If plaques and statues, why not the churches these people built? Should the Bible be subject to the same cleansing? Sunday services will cease to exist once the cleansers expel all who have sinned. Who among us is right to cast the first stone?

Joseph Messner

Removing plaques and triptychs are Is merely window dressing and virtue signaling.

It would be better to tear the entire church down. It’s history is problematic and can’t be erased. A review of the records will only pull up telublesome names again.

Suzette Reynolds
  1. It’s history cannot be erased, that is true. But the trajectory of that history has changed and I believe that is well worth knowing. The church might even change it;s name.
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