05 December 2011

The Sylvia Gaither Garrison Library Celebrates It's Fourth Anniversary

Prior to the holiday season, the chairman of the Maryland Commision on African American History and Culture, Ted Mack, along with Commisioner Dr. Clara Small, Dr. Joni Jones, executive director of the Maryand Commission on African American History and Culture and director of the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Alma Cropper, president of the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center, Betty M. Coleman, president of Friends of the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Dwyane Lee and Linda Simms, board members of the Banneker-Douglass Museum Foundation, the family of Sylvia Gaither Garrison, and many others gathered together at the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Sylvia Gaither Garrison Library.

C. R. Gibbs, the keynote speaker, captivated the audience, as he shared the many dramatic stories of bravery by both Caucasions and African Americans that occured during the antebellum period in Maryland. One story in particular stood out: William Chaplin, a Caucasion abolitionist, hid two enslaved men: Garland White and Allen, whose last name is unknown, in his carriage and was taking them to freedom when six armed men stopped the carriage by putting a fence rail between the spokes of the wheel. Then, they shot into the carriage, but one of the enslaved men fired back. The joy of freedom, unfortunately, was denied both men on that day. Determined to be free, Garland White escaped from slavery and became a chaplain in the 28th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops. It was stories like this and others that made Gibbs' lecture compelling.

As Gibbs came to te conclusion of his lecture, the audience didn't want it to end. In fact, they felt the topic was so satisfying tht they posed several though provoking questions to the historian, after the hour long lecture concluded.

Pictured from left to right: Alma Cropper, C.R. Gibbs & Lynn Waller