Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Black cemetery advocates raise Juneteenth flag at Jamie Raskin's office

Leaders and members of the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition traveled to Congressman Jamie Raskin's office last week, to protest Raskin's "continued refusal to take congressional action on the desecration, flooding, pouring of concrete on our ancestors, and cover-up of crimes against African people in Moses African Cemetery." Raskin previously visited the site of the burial ground, which is located under Montgomery County government-owned parcels of land on the Westwood Tower property, and directly across the Willett Branch stream from the rear parking lot of Westwood Tower. However, he has refused to meet with the group since or take action at the federal level on the cemetery issues, BACC says.

At Raskin's office last week, the group raised the Juneteenth flag in honor of Pvt. William H.H. Brown, who served with the United States Colored Troops who fought for the Union side in the U.S. Civil War. Brown is among the many former slaves buried in Moses African Cemetery. BACC has also created a video with a Civil War reenactor playing Pvt. Brown. "We told the White Union officers, if they would give us the gun, we would free ourselves," the actor portraying Brown says in the video. "We won our freedom. Now Montgomery County, Maryland is desecrating our sacred remains."

The BACC has called on the public to boycott all official Montgomery County government-sponsored Juneteenth events, in light of our elected officials' inaction on the cemetery matters. It has planned a full program of alternative Juneteenth events it encourages residents to attend instead. See the event announcements below for full details:

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