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Special Commission Focuses on Baltimore’s Confederate Monuments

A special commission to review Baltimore’s Confederate Statues held its first meeting Sept. 17.

The group is charged with figuring out what to do with the four Confederate monuments currently located on Baltimore city property. They include the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument located on Mount Royal Avenue near Mosher Street; the Confederate Women of Maryland monument located at Bishop Square Park; the Roger B. Taney Monument located on Mt. Vernon Place in North Park; and Lee & Jackson Monument, located in Wyman Park Dell.

The group will decide if the monuments should be left alone, eliminated completely, altered in some way or moved somewhere else.

During the meeting, the group of seven members debated specifics of what the group should be named, approved the timeline for how long their job should take and determined some of the best ways to encourage input from the public.

They also spoke briefly about Robert E. Lee Park, which is owned by the city despite being located in Baltimore County. The group elected not to handle the issue, since it is already under consideration by a city council committee.

The timeline for the project includes an opportunity for public testimony on Dec. 15. They hope to make their final recommendations to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake by Jan. 14.

The members, who were appointed by the mayor, include commission chair Aaron Bryant, an Andrew Mellon Foundation Curator of Photography at National Museum of African American History and Culture; Donna Cypress, director of library services at Lincoln College of Technology and member of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture; Larry Gibson, professor of law at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and author of “Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice”;  Mary Demory, representative of the City Council President’s office; independent curator and cultural advisor Elissa Blount-Moorhead; Dr. Elizabeth Nix,  assistant professor of public history at University of Baltimore and civil engineer Elford Jackson.

Learn more about the commission at: http://baltimoreplanning.wix.com/monumentcommission#!about/c1319