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Wes Moore sworn in to office as first Black governor of Maryland

Maryland Governor Wes Moore was sworn in as the state’s first Black governor, punctuating his inauguration with references to Black history that included an acknowledgement of the enslaved people who once arrived by ship near the State House.

Before his inaugural speech, Moore attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Annapolis City Dock, which was once a regional slave port and the site of a memorial to enslaved African Kunta Kinte, who arrived there in 1767.

Moore took the oath of office using a Bible owned by Frederick Douglass, a Marylander who escaped slavery on the Eastern Shore before going on to become an author and famed abolitionist.

Moore gave his inaugural speech as Maryland’s 63rd governor, looking out on Lawyer’s Mall in front of the State House with a statue of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

“This journey has never been about making history. It is about marching forward. Today is not an indictment of the past. Today is a celebration of our collective future. Maryland, it’s time. Let’s lead and let’s do it together.”

– Wes Moore

He then outlined some of his plans, including seeking to implement a $15 minimum wage; focusing on clean energy, cybersecurity and police reform; and increasing funding for youth mental health programs, among other proposals.

Moore said the day marks a celebration of the future of Maryland, and he’s already looking ahead to the next four years.

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Written by Aliyah Collins