Gala hon­ors Tub­man, Richard­son, Jack­son, Stan­ley

Dorchester Star - - Living History - By VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

— As part of the four day Re­flec­tion on Pine event, or­ga­nized by the Eastern Shore Net­work for Change, a gala din­ner was held on Friday, July 21 to honor four in­di­vid­u­als who chal­lenged the sta­tus quo in Cam­bridge, to­day and in gen­er­a­tions past.

The hon­orees were Har­riet Tub­man, Glo­ria Richard­son Dan­dridge, Fred Jack­son, and Mayor Vic­to­ria Jack­son-Stan­ley.

“Every­body in the room, re­ally, has played a part in this, be­cause this is an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity that we have to re­write his­tory,” state Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-MidShore said of the oc­ca­sion. “I’m so pleased that we have such fine lead­ers among us who are will­ing to stick out their necks. We may get a lot of crit­i­cism, but that’s okay. Re­spect all those words, be­cause if it doesn’t come out, it can’t heal. That’s what it’s all about. We need to learn to move up and out of the ashes.”

The ball­room of the Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake Bay was full as each of the hon­orees, or a rep­re­sen­ta­tive, was pre­sented with an artist’s con­cept of the mu­ral that was in­stalled on the cor­ner of U.S. Route 50 and Mar yland Av­enue, and ci­ta­tions from the Mary­land Se­nate and House of Del­e­gates.

Patricia Hawkins, a de­scen­dent of Tub­man and rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Ross fam­ily, ac­cepted the honor on be­half of her fam­ily.

“To­day, we are so priv­i­leged to be among great­ness,” said Hawkins. “It is my heart­felt plea­sure to be among lead­ers dur­ing the civil rights move­ment in Cam­bridge. True great­ness is not shiny medals, fancy cars, stacks of money, or gi­gan­tic homes. True great­ness is hum­ble, meek, and ready to do what oth­ers will not.”

Tub­man’s legacy was com­mem­o­rated ear­lier in the year with the open­ing of the Har­riet Tub­man Un­der­ground Rail­road Vis­i­tor Cen­ter and ac­com­pa­ny­ing state and na­tional parks. The vis­i­tor cen­ter is lo­cated in Church Creek, just out­side of Cam­bridge, ad­ja­cent to the Black­wa­ter Na­tional Wildlife Refuge.

Richard­son Dan­dridge was in at­ten­dance to ac­cept her honor in per­son.

“She is brave, strong, and a war­rior. At 95 years old, she is still all of those things,” said Kisha Pet­ti­co­las, ESNC co-founder. “We are hum­bled and filled with grat­i­tude that she would come here to re­ceive this honor.”

Jack­son’s honor was ac­cepted by his wife, Betty Jack­son, who briefly ex­pressed her grat­i­tude.

Mr. Jack­son be­came very in­volved in the civil rights move­ment of Cam­bridge, un­der the lead­er­ship of his friend Glo­ria Richard­son. He was known as the lieu­tenant of the Cam­bridge move­ment. He at­tended many CNAC meet­ings, marches, and was al­ways up front with Richard­son.

Mr. Jack­son was fired from sev­eral jobs be­cause he was such a prom­i­nent part of the move­ment, but he con­tin­ued to sup­port his fam­ily through any odd job he could find. In 1968, he be­came a tru­ant of­fi­cer for Dorch­ester County Pub­lic Schools, and he was well known for his ef­forts to en­sure that the county’s stu­dents at­tended school reg­u­larly. He passed away on De­cem­ber 5, 1984.

Mayor Jack­son-Stan­ley, daugh­ter of hon­oree Fred Jack­son and wife Betty, and first fe­male Mayor of Cam­bridge was there to ac­cept her recog­ni­tion.

“I want to thank Dion and Kisha for their vi­sion and for­ti­tude,” said Jack­son-Stan­ley. “I’m so glad that our young pro­fes­sion­als have stepped up to the plate and said, ‘We are go­ing to carry the torch.’”

It was dur­ing Jack­son-Stan­ley’s sec­ond may­oral cam­paign that ESNC co-founders Dion Banks and Kisha Pet­ti­co­las met, and their vi­sion for the fu­ture of the Cam­bridge com­mu­nity be­gan to de­velop.

“I’m stand­ing on the shoul­ders of Har­riet, Glo­ria, Fred, my momma Betty Jack­son, my cousin Mar­ion, and so many other peo­ple,” said Jack­son-Stan­ley. “In 2008, I was told it was mine to lose, and my ‘shero’ Glo­ria (Richard­son), I was told, said ‘Is she crazy?’ But in 2009, the first black, fe­male mayor gave her ‘shero’ the key to the city for the first time. I was so proud and hum­ble and grate­ful.”

Also rec­og­nized was Dorch­ester

County Tourism Di­rec­tor Amanda Fen­ster­maker. She was given much of the credit for en­sur­ing the mu­ral along Route 50 was made a re­al­ity.

“I don’t feel like I de­serve this, but it truly is an honor to have re­ceived this, and to be here with you all,” said Fen­ster­maker. “The mu­ral is beau­ti­ful. It’s ex­cep­tional, more than I imag­ined it would be, in its beauty and what it of­fers for the love of our com­mu­nity. I hope that we can con­tinue to make progress and have for­ward mo­men­tum.”

The weekend of events con­tin­ued with a Com­mu­nity Con­ver­sa­tion on Race, a scenic bike ride, a 5k “Race Against Racism,” and a com­mu­nity church ser­vice in an ef­fort to de­seg­re­gate the most seg­re­gated hour in Amer­ica.

“We re­al­ized we didn’t have any con­trol over our own nar­ra­tive, but we have it now,” said Banks. “This is our story. This is our nar­ra­tive. This is where our kids, their kids, are go­ing to grow up. The only way that we’re go­ing to be a self-sus­tain­ing com­mu­nity is by hav­ing healthy con­ver­sa­tions where we meet peo­ple where they are and val­i­date how they feel. We cre­ate that plat­form and grow from there.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge Mayor Vic­to­ria Jack­son-Stan­ley, left, and civil rights leader Glo­ria Richard­son Dan­dridge hold an artist’s con­cept of the Cam­bridge African-Amer­i­can mu­ral at the Re­flec­tions on Pine Gala Friday, July 21.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Betty Jack­son, right, the wife of the civil rights leader Fred Jack­son, re­ceives a print of the Cam­bridge mu­ral cel­e­brat­ing the city’s African-Amer­i­can his­tory dur­ing the Re­flec­tions on Pine Gala Friday, July 21, in Cam­bridge.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Patricia Hawkins, a de­scen­dent of Tub­man, re­ceives an artist’s con­cept of the Cam­bridge African-Amer­i­can mu­ral from Dion Banks, Kisha Pet­ti­co­las and state Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, at the Re­flec­tions on Pine Gala Friday, July 21.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Civil rights leader Glo­ria Richard­son Dan­dridge, left, re­ceives a state procla­ma­tion from Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, at the Re­flec­tions on Pine Gala Friday, July 21.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Har­riet Tub­man re-en­ac­tor Mil­li­cent Sparks gives an in­spi­ra­tional por­trayal of Tub­man at the Re­flec­tions on Pine Gala Friday, July 21.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Dorch­ester County Tourism Di­rec­tor Amanda Fen­ster­maker, left, re­ceives spe­cial recog­ni­tion at the Re­flec­tions on Pine Gala Friday, July 21, for help­ing to or­ga­nize the four-day Cam­bridge civil rights com­mem­o­ra­tion se­ries.

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