Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Appointment of Members to Special Commission to Review Baltimore’s Confederate Statues

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Baltimore Confederate Statue

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Appointment of Members to Special Commission to Review Baltimore’s Confederate Statues

Special commission will conduct a thorough review of Confederate monuments on City-owned property and issue recommendations for their future

BALTIMORE, Md. (September 4, 2015)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the appointment of seven members to a special commission to review all of Baltimore’s Confederate statues and historical assets.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake selected four members from the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), and three members from the Baltimore City Public Arts Commission.  Over the next six months, the commission will conduct a thorough review of Confederate monuments on City-owned property including gathering research and soliciting public testimony. Based on the findings, the commission will issue a series of recommendations to the Mayor for the future of the monuments.

"It is important that we recognize the delicate balance between respecting history and being offensive,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "I believe that by bringing together representatives from the art community and historians, and gathering public testimony, we have a better chance of understanding the importance of historic monuments—not only the significance they have in our history, but the role they should play in our future.”

As part of its research, the Commission will gather information on how other cities have handled similar circumstances regarding historic monuments. The commission will also hold at least four meetings, including at least one in which feedback from the community will be solicited.

Currently, there are four Confederate monuments on City property that are to be reviewed by the commission. They are: Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument located on Mount Royal Avenue near Mosher Street; Confederate Women’s of Maryland, located at Bishop Square Park; Roger B. Taney Monument, located on Mt. Vernon Place in North Park; and Lee & Jackson Monument, located in Wyman Park Dell.

"Baltimore is my hometown, and as a historian and City resident, I am honored and excited to serve on this commission," said Dr. Aaron Bryant, Chairman of the commission. "I look forward to working with Mayor Rawlings-Blake and the panel of commissioners she and her office have chosen to survey and address the issues related to Baltimore's Confederate monuments, the City's complex history, and how they fit in with Baltimore's future."

The commission's report and recommendations are expected to be delivered to the Mayor by early next year.

Members of Mayor’s Special Commission to review Baltimore’s Confederate Statues:

  • Dr. Aaron Bryant: Commission Chair, Andrew Mellon Foundation Curator of Photographer at National Museum of African American History and Culture, and member of CHAP
  • Dr. Elizabeth Nix, assistant professor of public history at University of Baltimore and author and co-editor of Baltimore ’68 Riots and Rebirth in an American City, and member of CHAP
  • Donna Cypress, director of library services at Lincoln College and member of Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, and member of CHAP
  • Larry Gibson, professor of law at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and author of Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice, and member of CHAP
  • Elissa Blount-Moorhead, partner TNEG films, independent curator, cultural advisor to contemporary, and member of Baltimore City Public Arts Commission
  • Elford Jackson, prominent civil engineer, and member of Baltimore City Public Arts Commission
  • Mary Demory, representative of the City Council President’s office, and member of Baltimore City Public Arts Commission

***Casey Brent, Special Assistant, Mayor's Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development will serve as the Mayor's staff representative to the commission.

The commission will hold four meetings at the Department of Planning, 417 E. Fayette Street on the following dates:

  • Thursday, September 17, 9:00 am
  • Thursday, October 29, 9:00 am
  • Tuesday, December 15, 5:00 pm (Public testimony invited)
  • Thursday, January 14, 10:00 am

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