BALTIMORE — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today capped a month-long commemoration of African-American history in wide-ranging remarks to visitors to the Verizon Black History Month Open House at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Senator Cardin urged the audience to continue pushing for an immediate end to racial profiling by law enforcement; underscored the need for strong funding for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; and recounted the emotions that accompanied meeting the descendants of Harriet Ross Tubman while celebrating the creation of a new national historical park in her honor.
“There are still major wrongs to be corrected across America. We must seize the momentum of Black History Month and use it to carry forward our work for progress throughout the year,” said Senator Cardin. “Your race, religion or ethnicity should not determine the quality of medical care you receive, and it must not drive the way you are viewed and treated by law enforcement. The American public needs to compel its elected officials to continue working to improve federal laws, policies and guidance to advance our civil rights.”
Senator Cardin also shared with visitors several noteworthy experiences from earlier in the month, including meeting the descendants of Harriet Ross Tubman during a celebration on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for a new National Historical Park soon to be established in her honor.
“Harriet Ross Tubman is nothing short of an American icon and hero. To deliver a new National Historical Park in her honor, one which includes beautiful stretches of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and upstate New York, was a tremendous experience,” said Senator Cardin. “I was especially grateful to celebrate the new historical park’s creation alongside several generations of Tubman’s descendants, as about a dozen members of the Ross family joined us in Cambridge. Their personal stories gave me the chance to better understand the living legacy of Harriet Tubman’s sacrifice, deepening my appreciation for the importance of her life and Black History Month alike.
“I can think of few greater examples of bravery and valor about which to teach our future generations. It is fitting that Harriet Ross Tubman will become the first individual woman to have a National Historical Park named in her honor.”
Senator Cardin also noted his appreciation for the opportunity to congregate in mid-February with the Board of Bishops, international ministers and lay association of the AME Zion Church, whose membership included both Harriet Ross Tubman and Frederick Douglass.
“It was incredible to have the chance to mark the importance of the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park with AME Zion Church, because so many of its leaders and congregants identify so personally with Tubman’s ideals and legacy,” noted Senator Cardin. “Much like today’s celebration of Black History Month, to be surrounded by so many kindred spirits in celebration of such a relevant cause was an absolutely uplifting occasion.”