PGC LMP Essay and Creative Arts Contests Winners

The Prince George’s County Lynching Memorial Project is honored and excited to congratulate the winners of our racial justice essay contest and our racial justice creative arts contest. Each of our winners is a student at a high school in Prince George’s County.

Students who won the essay and creative arts contest pose with award plaques and certificates around a posterboard for PGC LMP
Chelsea Nelson, from left, Chase Matthews, Kai Lampley, Anise Lampley, Miso Abitria, Aleila Rankin, and Diana Osuji (on behalf of Stephanie Osuji) accepted their awards from Greenbelt Mayor Emmett Jordan (back center).

Members of our coalition celebrated the winners and their families at two county Juneteeth events: a display table at the county Parks and Recreation Department festival and an awards ceremony held at the Greenbelt Community Center. It was great for us to gather in person after a long pandemic season of meeting virtually, and it was even better to hear from the talented students who took part in our contests.

Thanks go to the city of Greenbelt for providing space for us to host our awards ceremony and to Greenbelt Access Television (GATe) for broadcasting and recording the ceremony; to our sponsor of the essay contest, the Equal Justice Initiative; and to the co-sponsors of our creative arts contest, the Prince George’s County NAACP chapter and Joe’s Movement Emporium; and to our guest judges from the community who selected our winners.

Thank you as well to each of the students who entered these contests. Congratulations to the following students who were selected as winners. They received an award plaque or certificate as well as scholarship money for their future educational pursuits.

Essay Contest Winners

NameAwardSchool
Stephanie Osuji1st PlaceEleanor Roosevelt High School
Alyssa Liverman2nd PlaceDr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School
Miso Abitria3rd PlaceCharles Herbert Flowers High School
Aleila Rankin3rd PlaceOxon Hill High School
Ji’Mie WomackHonorable MentionCharles Herbert Flowers High School
Blessing NwokeHonorable MentionEleanor Roosevelt High School

Creative Arts Contest Winners

Name/Title of SubmissionAward/CategorySchool
Anise Lampley “Perennial Prejudice”1st place: Creative WritingOxon Hill High School
Chase Matthews “Hoodie”2nd place:  Creative WritingHome-schooled
Kai Lampley “The Tree of Cain”3rd place: Creative WritingOxon Hill High School
Chisom Amaikwu “When Race Clashes with Police”Honorable Mention:  Creative WritingAcademy of Health Sciences: Prince George’s County Community College
Nadia McCall “Gentrified”1st place: Visual ArtsCharles Herbert Flowers High School
Richard Martin “Lynching”2nd place: Visual ArtsLaurel High School
Seanna Harper “Her Life Mattered”3rd place:  Visual ArtsChesapeake Math and IT (CMIT) North
Momdjo Ashuakpa Windioscars Mbi “Environmental Racism”Honorable Mention: Visual ArtsCentral High School  
David Ingram “Justice”1st place: Spoken WordCharles Herbert Flowers High School
Chelsea Nelson “Black Baby’s First Misrepresentation”2nd place: Spoken WordCentral High School

The Untold Story of the 1869 Lynching of Mr. Thomas Juricks in Piscataway

In this exclusive video, we invite you to understand history that is often not told – the story of a lynching in one of our Prince George’s County communities. Watch this presentation shared at a local library.

It also explains the necessity to tell this buried story from our past while learning about the PGCLMP and how you can get involved in their work around truth, reconciliation, and healing.

Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission to Hold Public Hearing in Baltimore County on June 4, 2022

In 2019, the Maryland General Assembly enacted, and Governor Larry Hogan signed into law, legislation establishing the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission (MLTRC) as the first Commission dedicated to investigating racial terror lynchings in the United States. Sponsored by Delegate Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk, House Bill 307 tasks the Commission with researching cases of lynching, holding public hearings in communities where racial terror lynchings took place and developing recommendations for addressing the legacy of lynching that are rooted in restorative justice.

The MLTRC’s hearing process will allow members of the public, including the descendants of victims, witnesses, and perpetrators, the opportunity to offer testimony about how these murders have impacted their lives and their communities in addition to allowing them the opportunity to make recommendations for achieving racial healing. The hearings will also provide an opportunity to identify and bring to light possible cases of racial terror lynching that are remembered in families and communities but for which there is little or no documentation.

The June 4th hearing will focus on the tragic lynching of Howard Cooper, a 15-year-old boy who was killed on Monday, July 13, 1885, in Towson, Maryland. Cooper was convicted of assault and rape and sentenced to death by a jury that deliberated for less than a minute. Fearing the verdict might be reversed upon appeal, a mob of masked white men dragged Cooper from his cell in the old Baltimore County Jail in Towson and hanged him from a sycamore tree next to the building. Participants may include descendants of Howard Cooper, witnesses, community members, archivists, and scholars of the community.

The hearings will also explore the involvement of State, county, and local government entities and news media in cases of racially motivated lynching. In 1898, for example, the Maryland General Assembly failed to pass proposed anti-lynching legislation. It is also well documented that county sheriffs and jailers allowed mobs to take men from jail with impunity, county state’s attorneys refused to identify and bring charges against members of lynch mobs, county coroners routinely claimed that the victims of lynching died “at the hands of parties unknown,” and newspaper coverage of these events helped to perpetuate a culture that condoned and encouraged racial terror lynchings.

This is the second public hearing conducted by MLTRC. This event would not be possible without tireless effort and planning from the Baltimore County Coalition of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project to build community partnerships.

Additional hearings will be announced as they are scheduled and published on MLTRC’s website.

HEARING DETAILS

When: Saturday, June 4, 2022
Time (in person and streaming): 9 am to 1 pm; with a 10-minute break
Where: Baltimore County Council Chambers, 400 Washington Avenue, Towson, MD 21204 How You Can Attend:

IN PERSON: Pre-registration is required. We must limit the number of people who can register due to social distancing requirements. Please let us know if you must cancel so that we may honor those on the waiting list. Upon registering, you will receive a confirmation notice which you should bring with you to the hearing. You will pass through security and will be required to wear a mask and adhere to any other safety protocols that are required.

STREAMING: A link to stream the hearing will be posted on MLTRC’s website one day before the hearing.

How You Can Share Your Story:

Members of the public are encouraged to submit written testimony concerning how the lynching of Howard Cooper (or any other racially motivated lynching occurring in Baltimore County) has impacted their lives and their communities or making recommendations to address the legacy of lynching in Maryland and promote racial healing. Submit your testimony to mltrc@maryland.gov or bring your written testimony if you attend in-person.

The Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission can be reached at https://msa.maryland.gov/lynching-truth-reconciliation/ or via email at mltrc@maryland.gov.

The Baltimore County Coalition of the MLMP can be reached at https://www.mdlynchingmemorial.org/ or via email at baltimoreco.mdlmp@gmail.com.

Webinar: Where Do We Go From Here?

The History and Genealogy Committee invites you to Part III of their webinar series. This session is on Thursday, May 12, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. and features a full panel of guest speakers.

“Where Do We Go From Here?” will address issues that intersect: communities of color, immigration, housing, voting, poverty, reparations, and more, with a focus on how to build coalitions to do this work.

Register for free at https://bit.ly/PGCLMP_May2022

Mission Statement Change: A Change for Honor, Respect,  and Accuracy

The Prince George’s County Lynching Memorial Project has revised its mission statement to honor and show respect for the Africans who were enslaved in America and reflect accuracy in current historical terminology. The specific changes made were: first, to explicitly state our concern with the fates of the Africans who were enslaved and their descendants and to honor their full humanity by not implicitly suggesting they were only “slaves”; and, second, to use the now preferred term of the “institution of slavery” versus “slavery” since the institution or system of slavery and other systemic oppressions are the major causes of current day racial injustices and are a major focus of our work. Selected sources supporting the reasons for this change include the following:     

New Mission Statement  

The  Prince George’s County Lynching Memorial Project educates the public about the truths of our nation’s continuing legacy of the institution of slavery and its impact on enslaved persons and their descendants, memorializes victims of racial terror lynchings in our county, and advances the cause of racial justice and reconciliation through mutual support and collaboration.

New Essay Contest

The Equal Justice Initiative in partnership with the Prince George’s County Lynching Memorial Project is pleased to announce an upcoming scholarship contest open to 9th – 12th grade students attending public high school in Prince George’s County, where prizes totaling at least $5,000 will be awarded to winning participants. 

Students are asked to examine the history of a topic of racial injustice and to discuss its legacy today. Essays should explain the chosen topic using a specific historical event(s), explore how the injustice persists, and imagine solutions for a future free from racial injustice. Students are encouraged to reflect on how the topic impacts their own lives and communities.

Read more about the contest and how to submit an entry.

Next Meeting: August 21, 2021

You are invited to participate in the important work in our county of naming truth and moving forward to memorialize victims of racial terror. Email princegeorgescolmp@gmail.com to receive the Zoom link for our meeting this Saturday, 2 – 4 PM.