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6/18/2021 | Josh Kurtz

Maryland Matters

Former U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. told the audience that “we’re gathering here tonight less than 10 miles from where my great-grandfather was enslaved, in Gaithersburg.” He told the story, he said, to think about how recently in history that was, but also “to contemplate that progress is possible.”

King talked about struggling as a youth after both his parents died, but also about his faith in the redemptive powers of education. And he described his work with a new progressive advocacy group, Strong Future Maryland, that worked on race and equity issues, climate change and tenant protections during the recent General Assembly session.

“I didn’t just talk about problems,” he said. “I didn’t just tweet about problems. I didn’t wax poetic on cable television about problems.”