The immediate consequences of ending slavery were horrific around Annapolis.

“Since we the people have Proclaimed that Maryland Should Be free the Most Bitter Hatred has bein Manifested againest the poor Devils that Have Just Escaped from beneath there Lash,” Sandy Point lighthouse keeper Thomas B. Davis wrote on Nov. 6, 1864.

“There actions Since Tusday Last Indicates to me that there is all Ready Orginized Bands Prowling apon Horse Back around the Country armed with Revolvers and Horse Whips threatning to Shoot every Negroe that gives Back the first word after they Lacerate his flesh with the Whip.”

It was just days after Maryland emancipated its enslaved people. It would be even longer before Black men and women in a remote corner of Texas would learn on June 19, 1865 that they had been freed.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

In his idiosyncratically spelled letter to a Baltimore judge, Davis described what he saw just across the Severn River from Annapolis and begged for help to get him away from hateful neighbors. He begged for some way to address violent backlash to newly freed men and women among them.

“In the Name of Humanity is there no Redress for those poor ignorant down troden Wreches. Is this or is it not Involuntarey Slavery?”

I’m recounting this largely forgotten, violent moment — Annapolis historian Janice Hayes-Williams brought Davis’ singular testimony to my attention — not because I want to spoil the Annapolis Juneteenth Parade and Festival on June 22. Appreciating the Juneteenth holiday requires more than a party.

It calls for honoring survival.

An unknown Black soldier in uniform with his wife and their daughters posed for a family photo. The image was found in Cecil County, making it likely that he was one of the seven U.S. Colored Troops regiments raised in Maryland.
An unknown soldier in uniform poses for a family photo with his wife and daughters. The image was found in Cecil County, making it likely that he was one of the seven U.S. Colored Troops regiments raised in Maryland. (Library of Congress)

Emancipation was the beginning of violent segregation and racism in Maryland, and overcoming it has been the struggle and liberation historians and organizers of Annapolis Juneteenth talk about.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“When people are threatened, that is the moment when policies start to take shape,” Maya Davis, director of the Riversdale House Museum in Prince George’s County, said during a panel discussion tied to Maryland Emancipation Day.

“These people have a little bit of power, and that is a threat.”

It was a period when former slave owners legally snatched children from their parents to keep as unpaid servants until compensated for their loss of ownership. Marylanders who fled bondage couldn’t come home to their families until local governments waived criminal prosecution for theft — of themselves.

“I Have bein Living or Rather Staying ... in the midts of a people Whose Hearts is Black in treason,” Davis wrote, calling himself the only Unionist for miles.

Some Americans want to hide history by wrapping themselves in convenient myths. Others work to counter that.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The white congregation of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church apologized Sunday for its role in slavery and systemic racism, a long-planned step taken in a joint meeting with the black congregation of Asbury United Methodist Church and other community groups.

It’s the same parish where Thomas Davis witnessed beatings, kidnappings and forced marches.

“We recognize the profound harm caused by our institution’s historical complicity in the institution of slavery,” the Rev. Peter Mayer said in announcing the apology. “As stewards of faith and justice, it is incumbent upon us to confront our past and actively work towards reconciliation and reparations.”

Juneteenth is very much about living together with our history. It is about what America has overcome, and how far it still has to go.

The Annapolis Juneteenth: The parade starts at noon on June 22 and travels up West Street to the Bates Athletic Complex behind Maryland Hall. The festival, which features food, music and crafts, runs from 1 to 9 p.m. For more details, check the Annapolis Juneteenth website. Free.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The third Annapolis Juneteenth Parade and Festival takes place starting at noon on Saturday.
The fourth Annapolis Juneteenth Parade and Festival takes place starting at noon on Saturday. (Courtesy of Annapolis Juneteenth Celebratio)

Here are other things you can do in the next seven days.

Bay concert

7-9 p.m. Thursday

The Annapolis Maritime Museum hits the outdoor music sweet spot all summer with its weekly Tides & Tunes concert series, which overlooks Back Creek and the Chesapeake Bay.

The series opens with the Michael McHenry Tribe, a psychedelic funk trio. The museum is a small place with no real parking, and street parking in the surrounding streets of Eastport can be tight. There is a parking deck on Severn Avenue, several blocks away. Uber or Lyft is an option, as are bikes, and even water taxis from downtown Annapolis. Free.

Flag Day

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The William Paca House and Gardens, home of one of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence, will celebrate Flag Day with activities for children.

Kids can create a special craft that honors the national flag. $5, or free for children under 5.

Changing autism

5:30 p.m. Monday

“In A Different Key” is a 2020 documentary that explores how people with autism have been treated since it was first used as a diagnosis.

Watch on YouTube

The Providence of Maryland, a nonprofit that supports people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, is hosting a screening at Maryland Hall followed by a panel discussion about some of the changes depicted in the film.

The 2020 movie follows the friendship between a woman whose son is diagnosed with autism and Donald Triplett, the first person diagnosed with it. It is based on “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” a 2016 book that explores the history of autism and autism advocacy. Free.

Don’t stand so close

7 p.m. Monday

AM-FM, the fund for Annapolis musicians who can’t work because of injury or illness, holds regular “in the vane of” fundraiser concerts featuring familiar works interpreted by local artists.

Monday’s concert at Rams Head on Stage digs into The Police, the British rock band wildly popular in the late 1970s and mid-1980s fronted by its one-name singer, Sting.

“In the Vane of The Police” features Aidan Ewald, Troll Tribe, Mosaic, Meg Murray, Ray Wroten, Rickshaw Lizard, Dan Heely Band, Honey Sol, Loop of Boom, Angie Miller, Local Souls, Mr. VCR, The Monuments, Krunchyfunkenstien and East Is East. Tickets are $30.

One last party

5-7 p.m. Wednesday

There’s one more party for Paint Annapolis, the yearly Maryland Federation of Art competition that draws painters from around the country to Annapolis for inspiration from Maryland’s small-town state capital.

The closing reception at the MFA gallery on State Circle is a final chance to talk with this year’s artists surrounded by their work. An exhibit by the juried artists will remain up through June 22.

Back to the beach

3-7 p.m. Wednesday

The City of Annapolis is hosting a Carr’s Beach Reunion, celebrating Juneteeth and its restoration of the last remaining piece of land connected to the historic Black Chesapeake Bay resort.

Bands will perform on two stages, set up at the newly acquired Carr’s/Elktonia Heritage Park and the Annapolis Maritime Museum Park and Pavilion across Bembe Beach Road. Limited parking is available. Shuttle service will connect the parks with parking lots at the Bay Forest Shopping Center, Hillsmere Elementary School and PAL Park.

Carr’s and Sparrows beaches were waterfront resorts from the 1920s to the 1960s during the Jim Crow segregation era. Carr’s featured recreation and entertainment, including musicians who would go on to become household names. Concerts featured performers such as James Brown, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, the Temptations, and Stevie Wonder.

Elktonia Beach is where owner “Little Willie” Adams, a Baltimore numbers racket figure and nightclub owner, had a summer house, along with several other members of Maryland’s prominent Black community.

A videographer will be recording memories of Carr’s Beach. Admission is free.

WANN announcer Hoppy Adams on stage at Carr's Beach in the summer of 1960, black resort in Annapolis.
WANN announcer Hoppy Adams on stage at Carr's Beach, the Black resort in Annapolis, in the summer of 1960. (Maryland State Archives)

This column has been updated to correct the date of the Annapolis Juneteenth Parade and Festival. It is on June 22.