We as a nation are facing two illnesses, both very deadly: the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-time mistreatment and injustices endured by African Americans since our arrival in this country over 400 years ago. While we wait for the medical experts to create a vaccine for the virus, we need to rely on each other to cure the latter.
The senseless deaths of Mr. George Floyd and countless others have finally awakened the world to racial injustice in a profound way. Through a steadily growing catalog of videos, people worldwide witness in real time examples of brutal experiences African Americans have faced for far too long. Given this long history of injustices that continues to present day, the role of AARCH and our mission is even more apparent.
AARCH is prepared now more than ever to share our history in wholeness. We will continue to be the bridge, sharing first-hand experiences of African Americans in Frederick County. Our stories, experiences and contributions need to be told, and deserve to be heard.
As we continue our work with developing, designing, and funding the AARCH Heritage Center for African American History and Culture for Frederick County, we welcome support from all members of our community. Please visit our website (www.aarchsociety.org) to join us. We invite you to volunteer with us, collaborate with us, learn with us, and contribute to our mission: preserving and sharing the history of African Americans in Frederick County, so that we can all grow in understanding. AARCH welcomes you to be a part of the conversation, and to be part of the solution to the injustices that have thus far been inseparable from the story of who we are.
I commend the student organizers for putting together the peaceful March for Justice in Frederick on June 5 to honor the lives of African Americans that were taken at the hands of police brutality and to galvanize our community for justice. This was such a powerful moment that energized and brought so many people together. I commend all of the elected officials and law enforcement who walk with us in support of EQUALITY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. My hope is that we will translate this outpouring of support and groundswell of awareness into concrete change for the better.
Continue to be safe and look out for one another.
David V. Key is president of AARCH (African American Resources – Cultural and Heritage) Society of Frederick.