Civil Rights cham­pion re­turns to Cam­bridge for ‘Re­flec­tions on Pine’

Dorchester Star - - Regional -

CAM­BRIDGE — As part of the Eastern Shore Net­work for Change (ESNC) com­mem­o­ra­tion of “50 Years Af­ter the Fire: A Com­mem­o­ra­tion of Our His­tory”, Glo­ria Richard­son Dan­dridge will speak about her mem­o­ries of the Cam­bridge Move­ment in the early 1960s at 7 p.m. Thurs­day, July 20, at the the Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Re­sort in Cam­bridge.

Dan­dridge is one of the last sur­viv­ing mem­bers of the moth­ers of the Civil Rights Move­ment, and is best known as the leader of the Cam­bridge Move­ment, a strug­gle for civil rights and eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for African-Amer­i­cans in Cam­bridge in the early 1960’s. Richard­son’s in­flu­ence was wide rang­ing; she was per­son­ally in­vited to at­tend the March on Washington in 1963, but ul­ti­mately was not al­lowed to speak be­cause she is a woman.

In July 1963, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Robert Kennedy — who Richard­son had asked ear­lier to pro­vide pro­tec­tion for demon­stra­tors’ con­sti­tu­tional rights — met with Richard­son, other civil rights ac­tivists and govern­ment of­fi­cials to bro­ker the Treaty of Cam­bridge, an agree­ment cov­er­ing de­seg­re­ga­tion, hous­ing and em­ploy­ment is­sues.

Richard­son also led a protest when Alabama’s seg­re­ga­tion­ist gov­er­nor, Ge­orge Wal­lace, vis­ited Cam­bridge. It was only in July 1964 — the same month that the Civil Rights Act be­came law — that the Na­tional Guard per­ma­nently with­drew from the city.

Later, Richard­son moved to New York and has worked for the Na­tional Coun­cil for Ne­gro Women and the New York City De­part­ment for the Ag­ing.

This Fe­bru­ary, Lt. Gov. Boyd Ruther­ford cel­e­brated Black His­tory Month in Cam­bridge by pre­sent­ing a procla­ma­tion to Richard­son, declar­ing Feb. 11 Glo­ria Richard­son Day in Mary­land.

“Mary­land rec­og­nizes the coura­geous lead­er­ship and com­mit­ment of Glo­ria H. Richard­son dur­ing the civil rights mo­ment of the 1960s,” Ruther­ford said. “Dur­ing a time of racial seg­re­ga­tion, Glo­ria H. Richard­son be­came one of the strong­est ad­vo­cates for eco­nomic rights, as well as de­seg­re­ga­tion. Mary­land is proud to join in hon­or­ing Glo­ria H. Richard­son for her con­tri­bu­tions in the fight to achieve racial equal­ity dur­ing a defin­ing era of our nation’s strug­gle for civil rights for all.”

The four-day se­ries of events en­ti­tled “Re­flec­tions on Pine: Cam­bridge com­mem­o­rates civil rights, com­mu­nity & change” will run from Thurs­day, July 20 through Sun­day, July 23.

At 7 p.m. on Fri­day, July 21, there will be a gala din­ner hon­or­ing Har­riet Tub­man, Glo­ria Richard­son Dan­dridge, Fred Jack­son and Vic­to­ria Jack­son-Stanley; four people from Dorch­ester County who re­fused to ac­cept the sta­tus quo and worked to move our com­mu­nity for­ward.

A com­mu­nity con­ver­sa­tion on race will be held at 12 p.m. on Satur­day af­ter­noon. This will be a pro­fes­sion­ally fa­cil­i­tated con­ver­sa­tion about race and our com­mu­nity. A boxed lunch will be pro­vided.

A 5k race en­ti­tled “Race Against Racism” will be­gin at 7 a.m. on Sun­day morn­ing.

Sun­day morn­ing com­mu­nity church ser­vice, a part­ner­ship with the Min­is­te­rial Al­liance in an ef­fort to de­seg­re­gate the most seg­re­gated hour in Amer­ica, will be held at 11 a.m. at Bethel AME Church.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the events of “Re­flec­tions of Pine”, visit www.re­flec­tion­son­pine.org.

ESNC’s mis­sion is to raise aware­ness of is­sues in Dorch­ester County and to cre­atively work with the com­mu­nity to in­form, ed­u­cate, and fos­ter change which leads to so­cial and eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment. For more in­for­ma­tion about the or­ga­ni­za­tion, visit our web­site, www.es­nc­cam­bridgemd.com.

KENT COUNTY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Glo­ria Richard­son speaks af­ter re­ceiv­ing an hon­orary Doc­tor of Pub­lic Ser­vice de­gree from Washington Col­lege dur­ing the col­lege’s Ge­orge Washington’s Birth­day Con­vo­ca­tion in 2008.

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