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WBAL TV - by

LINTHICUM, Md. —

Public libraries are back open in Anne Arundel County, but one branch has a new outdoor space for patrons to use.

It might seem like a small thing -- a new outdoor garden and sitting area in front of the Linthicum Library -- but to the community, it's special.

"People are always coming over just to check it out, especially as progress was being made," said patron Megan Maier.

The landscaping is thanks to an anonymous donor who wanted the garden filled with mostly native plants. When the library was closed, local residents kept it going. Now, it's giving patrons an outdoor option to enjoy during the pandemic.

"I guess that's the silver lining of the timing of this project," said library branch manager Timothy Van Fleet.

All Anne Arundel County libraries reopened to the public Monday. Masks are required and capacity is limited, as well as computer use.

"We cut down on the numbers for social distancing reasons," said Christine Feldmann, of the Anne Arundel County Public Library.

At the Linthicum branch, Fleet said helping patrons reconnect has been critical and he hopes the new space will do that, too.

"Hopefully in the future, we hope we can do some story times out here once we can do things with people congregating outside," Fleet said.

Capital Gazette - by

Skip Auld decided to change his name on the side of the road.

For 67 years, he was Hampton Marshall Auld. But it wasn’t until that moment last summer that Auld realized he was a living monument to the confederacy.

He reflected on this moment in an opinion piece sent this week to The Capital and the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia, where Auld worked as a library executive before he became the CEO of Anne Arundel County’s library system.

And he thought about it as he wrote a statement for the library on the killing of George Floyd and put together a list of books that tackle systemic racism.His lifelong nickname is Skip but his namesake, Wade Hampton III, was a Confederate general. Auld shrugged that off when he learned about Hampton in college. He was the fourth generation of Hampton Aulds, so why question it?

But on a drive home from work last July, the meaning of his name sunk in.

Auld popped in the audiobook CD of “Grant,” a biography of President Ulysses S. Grant, and was driving through Davidsonville as he listened to a section about Hampton.

He learned that before he fought for the Confederacy, Wade Hampton III was one of the largest slaveholders in the South. After the war, Hampton led a white supremacy group called the Red Shirts that killed black people to deter them from voting. The group later merged into the Ku Klux Klan.“I immediately thought ‘I’m changing my name. I don’t want anything to do with that person.' ... It just hit me in my gut that this was not something I wanted to be associated with in any way."

The next day, Auld filed paperwork with the Anne Arundel County Clerk of Court.

“I didn’t like the idea that I was named for a terrorist,” Auld said. He listed that as the reason for his name change.

To honor his family, he chose the first name Charles, his father’s middle name, and made his middle name Marshall, his mother’s maiden name. But he’ll still go by Skip.

“I just wanted to tear down the highly personal monument to the Confederacy in my own family history,” Auld wrote in his op-ed to The Capital.

 

Capital Gazette - by

During my freshman year at Davidson College, I discovered that I was probably named for Confederate General Wade Hampton. At the time, the 1970s, I didn’t think much of it. 

My father was born in New Jersey, my mother in Indiana, and we didn’t move to Wilmington, North Carolina from Arizona until I was 7 years old. I remember my father coming home from work about six months after we moved and saying to my mother, “My God, they’re still living the Civil War here!”  

The next time I thought about Wade Hampton was last summer while driving home from work listening to Ron Chernow’s “Grant” on CD. On that drive, I learned that Gen. Hampton, who was immensely loved by his veteran comrades, led 20,000 militia successors to the Ku Klux Klan during his 1876 campaign for governor of South Carolina. 

Just five years prior, President Ulysses S. Grant had succeeded enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which authorized federal armed forces to combat the Ku Klux Klan which had been terrorizing blacks throughout the South. 

This militia in South Carolina was called the Red Shirts, a paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party. Along with “rifle clubs” throughout the South, they put an end to Reconstruction in 1876. The murder of 150 African-American South Carolinians that year was part of the suppression of votes that not only ensured Wade Hampton’s election but also put the nation on a firm path to a century of Jim Crow denial of basic civil rights for black people. 

It was slavery by another name. 

That same year, my great grandfather was born in January and named for the beloved general. He was the first Hampton Auld. I was the fourth. His father had been born in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, fought in the Civil War, and was present for the surrender at Appomattox.  

Our family was blissfully ignorant of the “War Between the States,” Robert E. Lee, and most definitely ignorant of Wade Hampton. My namesake was seen as the “savior” of white South Carolinians and went from general to governor to senator. A county was formed and named for him, as were streets, parks, high schools, and boulevards. Statues of him stand in the U.S. Capitol and on the capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. 

Scarlett O’Hara’s son in “Gone with the Wind” is named Wade Hampton Hamilton. My great grandfather was named for him and I was the last to be given this name. 

By the time I arrived home after listening to “Grant," I decided to change my name, legally. I understood that four generations of Hampton Aulds began with a defeated Confederate soldier’s pride in his general and glorification of what became known as the “Lost Cause.” 

I’ve lived my whole life fully aware of the unfairness and injustice at the heart of our society. Because I didn’t want to dishonor my late father or grandfather, I took my father’s middle name, Charles. It became official in August 2019.    

In these days when removing monuments to the Confederacy is being understood more and more as the right thing to do, I’m glad I took this personal step to uproot and discard a name that in itself was a monument to the horrors inflicted upon our fellow black citizens of America. I can’t help but imagine what American history might have been over the past 144 years if the nation had fully ended slavery. 

Even all these years after the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, white privilege still lies at the base of life in America. For me, I just wanted to tear down the highly personal monument to the Confederacy in my own family history. 

 

Davidsonville resident Skip Auld is the CEO of the Anne Arundel County Public library. This column was also submitted to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

All Press Releases

Most Libraries to Open for Limited Indoor Service on June 15 

 

 

Additional $150K in New eBooks, eAudiobooks to be Available Soon   

Annapolis, Md., (March 18, 2020) – In an attempt to help frazzled parents, bored kids and other stressed out customers, officials from the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) today announced a series of special virtual programs and additional resources being offering over the next two weeks.