ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Wes Moore 's inauguration as Maryland's first Black governor on Wednesday will be punctuated with references to Black history, including an acknowledgement of the slaves who once arrived by ship near the state Capitol and the Baltimore native who became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Before his inaugural speech, Moore is scheduled to visit the Annapolis City Dock, which was once one of the region's slave ports. The dock is the site of a memorial to enslaved African Kunta Kinte, who arrived there in 1767 and was written about in Alex Haley's book “Roots.” Other Black leaders will join him in a wreath-laying ceremony.
Moore will take the oath of office using a Bible owned by Frederick Douglass, a Marylander who escaped slavery on the state's Eastern Shore before going on to become an author and famed abolitionist.
When Moore gives his inaugural speech as Maryland's 63rd governor, he will be looking out on a mall in front of the Capitol with a statue of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
One thing Moore won’t see: The statue of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney, who authored the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision declaring that Black people could not be U.S. citizens. That statue stood for nearly 145 years outside the Maryland State House before Moore’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, ordered it removed in response to racial violence in Charlottesville, Va.
Moore is the third Black governor elected in the nation's history. Virginia’s Douglas Wilder was elected in 1989 and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts was elected in 2006.
Moore's running mate, Aruna Miller, also will be making history. She is the first immigrant and first Asian American elected statewide in Maryland.
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