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SWORN IN: Wes Moore Inaugurated As Maryland’s First Black Governor, Oprah Delivers Touching Speech

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Today, Wes Moore was sworn in as Maryland’s first Black governor, and only the third Black governor elected in U.S. History. Watch the rising political star get sworn in, plus Oprah’s touching speech inside..

 

Today will go down in the history books.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore was sworn in as the state's first Black governor today (Jan. 18th). His inauguration was marked by homages to Black history, including a mention of the enslaved people who once arrived by ship close to the state Capitol. The Army veteran took the oath of office at the State House in Annapolis, which is blocks away from the dock where enslaved Africans were sold.

The author and former chief of a poverty-fighting nonprofit captured 63.29% of the vote in November's general election, nearly double that of his Republican opponent, Dan Cox. He’s lived in Baltimore with his wife, Dawn, since 2016. They share two children, Mia and James.

Wes Moore participated in a wreath-laying ceremony prior to his inauguration speech at the Annapolis City Dock, which was formerly a local slave port and now houses a memorial to the African enslaved Kunta Kinte, who arrived there in 1767 and is mentioned in Alex Haley's book "Roots."

Check out photos below:

The 44-year-old rising political star was joined by other Black leaders, including Maryland Representative Kweisi Mfume, Attorney General Anthony Brown, former Lt. Governor Michael Steele, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who in 2006 became the country's second Black governor. In 1989, Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the first Black governor, and Moore is now the third.

Media mogul Oprah was also in attendance to present the governor.

In addition to endorsing Gov. Moore, who previously hosted a program on Oprah’s network, she also held a virtual fundraising event in June where she raised more than $100,000 for Moore.

When a reporter asked Lady O what kind of day is today she responded, “an extraordinary day, a historical day, a legacy-building day.”

During her speech, Lady O talked about how impressed she was by Mr. Moore after their first encounter.

“I met Wes for the first time in 2010, I interviewed him for his best-selling book," Oprah said. "I was so impressed, even then, by his integrity and his wisdom. He was wise beyond his years. He knew who he was, and he had a vision for who he intended to be."

She said she trusted his vision and leadership and assured Marylanders that they could trust him as well. Watch some of her speech below:

Gov. Wes Moore's son, James, led the state in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance:

Gov. Moore took the oath of office on two Bibles, including a Bible owned by his grandfather, Rev. James Thomas, and a Bible owned by Frederick Douglass, a Marylander who escaped slavery on the state's Eastern Shore before becoming an author and abolitionist.

 

Moore is not the 63rd governor of Maryland and the first Black governor of the state. He replaces two-term governor Larry Hogan.

”Today is not an indictment of the past," Moore said during his inaugural speech. "Today is a celebration of our collective future. And, today is our opportunity to begin this future so bright, it is blinding."  

Gov. Moore stated that his administration must address the issue of poverty. He also discussed child poverty, homelessness, the wealth gap between races, and raising the minimum wage.

”Maryland should not be 43rd in unemployment, or 44th in the cost of doing business," he said. "We do not have to choose between a competitive economy and an equitable one."

Another major issue in Maryland has been crime.

”We will work with communities from West Baltimore to Westminster to share data so we can keep violent offenders off our streets," Moore said. "And we can welcome people who have earned a second chance back to our communities."

Watch Gov. Moore’s inaugural address below:

Major congrats! Good change is coming to Maryland.

Watch Bowie High School get the crowd hype performing "Swag Surf" during the inaugration below:

 

 

Also…

Gov. Moore's running mate Aruna Miller was sworn in as Maryland's first woman of color and the first South Asian woman to serve as lieutenant governor.

Aruna moved to the United States when she was seven years old. She’s married to her husband, David, and they have three adult daughters.

What an amazing day!

Photo: Oprah's IG

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