During the recent activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, there was some discussion that the women leaders of the Civil Rights movement were not given sufficient voice nor honored during the 1963 march. Eastern Shore’s Civil Rights leader Gloria Richardson has led a controversial life; perhaps it was the controversial side of her that made her the perfect voice and force for the struggle for rights in Cambridge, Maryland. Her voice and that of others might not have been heard at the famous 1963 march, but nonetheless she holds an astonishing place in Delmarva’s history. When the biography of her life gets published, it should be a fascinating read.
The first photo of her was taken a few years back when she was honored in Cambridge. Born in 1922 in Baltimore, her family relocated to her mother’s hometown, Cambridge, at the request of her grandfather, Herbert Maynadier St. Clair, a prominent figure in the town’s history.
What many do not realize, Cambridge had two major civil rights movements during the 1960s. The book by Peter Levy gives a great description of this history. I so look forward to that biography coming out, reportedly entitled called The Struggle is a Eternal: Gloria Richardson and Black Liberation by Joseph R. Fitzgerald. It boggles my mind that there is still a lot to be documented about that period of history, which was so visible by the emerging media then. Perhaps one important legacy of the 1963 march on Washington will be its place in history as a lenses through which we can look at this powerful history, year after year, so that it won’t be forgotten. — Linda Duyer