Lewes commission denounces racism, police brutality

Most Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way signs installed along Fourth Street
July 1, 2020

The Lewes African American Heritage Commission joined many organizations in the Cape Region and across the nation in denouncing systemic racism. 

Commissioner Trina Brown-Hicks worked with the Rev. Dr. Deborah McCaffity to write an official statement for the group. 

The statement reads: “The Lewes African American Heritage Commission vehemently opposes all forms of racism, including police brutality and abuse. We stand in total solidarity with the voices of the nation that are proclaiming and crying out that black lives matter.”

Gov. John Carney closed state offices June 19 in observance of Juneteenth, a holiday that celebrates the end of slavery. Officials in all three counties followed suit. Many municipalities, including Lewes, also closed to honor Juneteenth. 

Mayor Ted Becker has tasked the commission with developing a way to properly celebrate Juneteenth in the future.

“The past month has provided us an opportunity to reflect on how we can come to terms with the ugly history of racism in our country,” he said. “Properly commemorating the end of slavery in our country is important to healing our divisions.”

MLK Way signs

Honorary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way signs are installed on nearly all intersections of West Fourth Street from Savannah Road to New Road. The commission has provided a list of missed intersections to Becker, who will work to have signs installed soon. 

The first sign near Friendship Baptist Church was unveiled Feb. 28, and other signs have been added over the last few months. 

The commission is also working to draft language to appear on a historic marker to be placed in Lewes that commemorates the contributions of the African American community to the city of Lewes. The marker will be paid for by Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, and Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton. 

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