Dean Boulter sees this addition of a new hymnal as one of the ways that the cathedral shows it commitment to inclusion and racial reconciliation. “Our church has not had a good history when it comes to valuing diversity. The cathedral church was founded when two predominantly white congregations joined together and moved out of neighborhoods in Baltimore City that were becoming integrated. I hope this act, and others that we will are considering, will help heal the breach that racism has created in Baltimore.” Dean Boulter acknowledged that it is a small and symbolic act but he said, “symbols are important and even small acts of reconciliation make a difference.”
Since delegates at our Diocesan Convention passed Resolution 2019-06 regarding racial reconciliation and reparations, there has been renewed interest in finding records of enslaved persons and other African Americans with ties to the Diocese of Maryland. As noted in a recent issue of Smithsonian Magazine, several new data bases are being launched to add to our knowledge of the lives of enslaved people in North America, including Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade and Freedom Narratives. Investigations are also ongoing concerning post-Civil War narratives, including segregation, Jim Crow laws and unfair practices in housing, education and hiring. Although our archives is small, we possess many documents which can enhance our knowledge of African American life in Maryland over the past 400 years.