In its 200-year history, the town of Federalsburg, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, has never elected a Black official. For centuries, the Town has maintained an all-white government, something Black residents are determined to change with a recent federal lawsuit.
On March 14, 2023, we held a virtual press conference with local partners where plaintiffs in the case shared their personal experiences with Federalsburg's discriminatory election system, showcasing exactly why representation in all levels of government matters.
Nehemiah Bester edited this video.
Dr. Willie Woods: In the 200 year history of Federalsburg history of Federalsburg, no Black candidates or other persons of color has been elected to the town's government.
Sherone Lewis: And it is to my dismay that my children do not see themselves, I don't see myself represented in our town council.
Lywanda Johnson: It would just mean so much for someone to be in a position of power who is like me. Because right now there is no one here like me.
Roberta Butler: In 2011, I ran but unsuccessful. I didn't have enough vote. One side of the town can vote, the other side couldn't.
Nikendra Bordley: Twice, I witnessed her run twice and both times were unsuccessful.
Carl Snowden: The fact of the matter is Frederalsburg is on the wrong side of history.
Reverend James Jones: It's time for change people. 200 years is a long time.