A proposal issued by two Maryland Democratic politicians on Friday, Nov. 11, wants to recognize Black abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, both Marylanders, with statues at the State House in Annapolis. It’s the latest effort to recognize the contributions of Blacks from the state, while also responding to critics who oppose the statue of Robert B. Taney, the U.S. chief justice who wrote the proslavery Dred Scott decision in 1857 which remains on the State House grounds.
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) say “it’s time.” They want the statues placed in the Old House of Delegates Chamber where they would “look on as witnesses in the room where Maryland abolished slavery in the state and rejected the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Previous legislation failed in 2012 and 2013. Earlier this year, a bill to remove Taney’s statue failed.