Wes Moore was sworn into office on Wednesday following his historic election as the governor of Maryland.
The inauguration in the capital city of Annapolis gave Moore not only the important distinction of being the first Black governor in Maryland’s more than 234 years of existence but also made him the one and only sitting Black governor in the entire United States of America.
Moore was sworn in using a bible once owned by Frederick Douglass and another that was owned by his grandfather. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey was in attendance and introduced Moore before he addressed the crowd, according to the Washington Post.
The upstart politician was elected in November in a landslide victory over Republican nominee Dan Cox to become Maryland’s 63rd governor. A combat veteran and former CEO, Moore is also just the third Black person ever elected governor in U.S. history.
Technically, there have now been four Black governors in U.S. history. But with his victory, Moore joined Duval Patrick in Massachusetts and L. Douglas Wilder in Virginia as being the only three Black people ever to be elected to the position. Prior to Moore’s election, the most recent Black governor was David Paterson, who was promoted from serving as New York lieutenant governor when then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned over a prostitution scandal in 2008.
Prior to his entrance into politics, then-social entrepreneur and author Moore famously launched The Black Voices for Black Justice Fund with actress Kerry Washington in 2020 amid the unrest stemming following harrowing incidents of police brutality. The fund is designed to support activists and grassroots organizations on the frontlines fighting against injustice.
“The Black Voices for Black Justice Fund recognizes and supports the incredible work that’s being done by everyday heroes at the grassroots level,” Moore said in a statement at the time. “In order for our communities to exceed the level of greatness we all aspire to, these voices must be elevated, supported and heard.”
That is the kind of governor Maryland now has presiding.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.