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Baltimore city hall opens new exhibit on the global movement against apartheid

Posted at 11:28 PM, Jun 18, 2024

BALTIMORE — They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Now those words are displayed in the halls of Baltimore City Hall, telling a particular story—the story of activism and heroic efforts.

In 1984, Maryland was the first southern state to divest funds from the South African apartheid government.

The opening of the 'Marylanders Cry Freedom, Civil Rights at Home and Abroad' exhibit commemorates that event, 40 years later.

For some people visiting the exhibit at City Hall, it brings up an array of emotions.

“For me, just seeing some of the pictures from how brutal things were, I realize that we have come a long way, but we have to be careful because people forget, you know, and humanity gets lost easily," says Kittrell Decator.

Attendees took the time to reflect on how far South Africans and African Americans have come to gain certain freedoms.

“Because of their perseverance and unwillingness to back down, we’re here today. I am here today, you are here today, able to hold power in these halls that used to serve lawsuits to prevent those who look like us from achieving our excellence," says. Mayor Brandon Scott.

The exhibit is particularly special to people like Congressman Kweisi Mfume, who participated in the fight to end apartheid alongside Nelson Mandela.

“Don’t think that Baltimore did not play a role. All those many years of people showing up forcing the issue caused other cities to force the issue," says Congressman Kweisi Mfume.

The exhibit is not only Apartheid; it also looks back at Jim Crow and other civil rights movements in America.

The exhibit will be in city hall until August 31st.