On Wednesday, Wes Moore was inaugurated as governor of Maryland.
An Army veteran of the War in Afghanistan, Rhodes Scholar, investment banker and successful entrepreneur, Moore has made history by taking office in Maryland.
Making and recognizing history
Sherrilyn Ifill, the former president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, noted the historic occasion makes Moore only the third elected Black governor in American history.
The ceremony was steeped in Black culture, beginning with a march by Moore and other Black leaders from the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial to the Maryland State House in Annapolis.
Celebrities and celebrations
At the state house, Oprah Winfrey was on hand to introduce Moore for what she described as a “legacy-building day.”
The Bowie High School Marching Bulldogs were on hand to celebrate, performing hits from Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk” to Fast Life Yungstaz’ “Swag Surfin.”
Actor and comedian Chris Tucker was also in attendance, mingling with the crowd to celebrate as the governor took office.
Governor Moore pledges to move forward
Reporter Jeffrey Ballou added that Moore took his oath of office using a Bible belonging to his grandfather and one Frederick Douglass once owned.
A public address followed the swearing-in ceremony. After being introduced by Oprah, Governor Moore gave a hopeful and future-oriented speech setting out his vision for his time as governor. “This journey has never been about making history,” Governor Moore declared. “It’s about marching forward.” The governor added that “today is not an indictment of the past. Today is a celebration of our collective future.”
Even with Oprah’s introduction and Moore’s rousing words, the governor’s son, James, stole the show. During the ceremony, many people posted the heartwarming video of the younger Moore leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Young James’ appearance capped an inauguration that was overfilled with joy and promise for those in attendance and everyone following the events online. Twitter user @Runnergal4Life summed up the sentiment of several Maryland residents and Black people, commenting, “I’m so proud to be a Marylander today!!”