Historical Context for St. Mary’s County


National Attention for a rural area.

During the conflict over Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, St. Mary’s County, MD received attention on a much larger stage than local papers and forums. St. Mary’s County, MD school were featured in The Washington Post and The New York Times.

The Washington Post 

The New York Times 



The Rodney King Riots

April 29th 1992 is a date that many people have permanently sealed into their memories. Regardless of how old they may have been it’s a date that has come up every year in the news. The sentiments felt during the Rodney King Riots are mirrored every time someone dies at the hand of the police in an unjust manner.

The initial riots happened a few years prior to the conflict over Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon.


A County at a Boiling Point.

There are articles featured in The Enterprise that reflect a county with severe racial tensions brewing. Basketball courts are not being placed in areas to keep out specific demographics. The only movie theater in town wasn’t showing successful black movies. New construction to make a beach more accessible was being blocked due to racism. A black church was burned down. Racial advocacy groups were being targeted to disrupt the support they provide to the community. Although, the other side of all of these issues claimed it had nothing to do with race. It is still important to acknowledge that people felt each of these issues were strongly tied to the ethnicity of the people who stood to lose something.

In 1996 St. Mary’s County voted for Robert Dole (R)

in 2016 it voted for Donald Trump (R)

The voting in the county was and remains conservative.

Here is a collection of articles that have racial overtones from 1997.


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