FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 8, 2021
Senator Cheryl C. Kagan
District 17 (Rockville & Gaithersburg)
PRESS RELEASE: TIME TO REPEAL MARYLAND’S STATE SONG
Annapolis, MD: Maryland’s State Song contains offensive lyrics that defend slavery and glorify an era of racial discrimination. Several have attempted to repeal and/or replace “Maryland, My Maryland
,” including Senator Cheryl Kagan with SB222
in 2016 and SB790
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, many states have removed their Confederate statues and symbols. Sen. Kagan is sponsoring SB8
to finally repeal our State Song.
The poem that provided the song’s lyrics was written in 1861 by a Confederate sympathizer, James Ryder Randall. He was outraged by Union troops marching through Baltimore to overthrow the government. President Abraham Lincoln is called a “despot,” and those opposing the Confederacy are called “Northern scum.” Even prior to its adoption in 1939 as the State Song, the poem was viewed as inflammatory and divisive.
“Maryland pride runs deep. Our State Song should celebrate the beauty and diversity of our home,” Kagan said. “Instead, it celebrates images of the Confederacy and racial discrimination. The time to repeal it is now.”
When: Thursday, March 11th (sometime after 1 pm)
Where: Senate Education, Health, & Environmental Affairs (EHEA) Cmte via Zoom
Who: Senator Kagan will be joined by:
Former Republican State Senator Howard Denis;
NAACP’s Rev. Kobi Little; and
Former State Archivist Edward Papenfuse.
Senator Kagan (D-District 17) is in her second term representing Gaithersburg and Rockville. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Education, Health, & Environmental Affairs Committee. Kagan has earned a reputation as an independent-minded legislator with a strong voice on election reform, public safety, consumer protection, and more. Since 2003, Kagan has hosted “Folk ‘N Great Music” Concerts in her Rockville home featuring national touring singer/songwriters. Kagan is active on social media and can be found on Facebook at Sen. Cheryl Kagan, on Twitter at @CherylKagan, on Instagram at @CherylCKagan, and on YouTube at Sen. Cheryl Kagan.