CHESTER — Over the past several weeks, “Be the Bridge, one Eastern Shore” signs have been popping up across the Mid-Shore area. The sign shows a drawing of two hands, one brown, the other white, coming together to form a heart with a portion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in between the hands. The symbolic message is for people of all racial backgrounds to come together in peace and harmony.
These signs have been promoted via Facebook messages from several county residents, particularly Kelley Barrow of Stevensville and Ashley Cromwell of Queenstown who got the idea from a national “Be the Bridge” movement that originated in Greenville, NC. The artist who created the sign is Lacey Hennessey, also of North Carolina.
Hennessey was contacted by Barrow and asked if she would create a sign especially for the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Hennessey agreed, and she charged nothing for the design.
Barrow said, “There is a book written with the same title, “Be the Bridge.” It comes from a spiritual point of view, attempting to bring all of us together, removing the racial divide that has existed over past months in our nation. The sign is a symbol to let people know we need to love our neighbors. We need to come together and respect each other.”
Barrow added, “I remember when the tornado came across Kent Island a couple summers ago, people truly turned out to help others in need. People here in our region have continuously helped their neighbors, even during the pandemic. We need to do that again, but this time to bring all people together in helping heal racial wounds.
“This sign has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, as there has been a lot of confusion about that, and it’s not saying that black lives don’t matter. We just need to stand up and recognize that it’s sad that here, in our time, 2020, we’re still having to deal with racial attitudes dividing us as a nation. We should be way beyond that by now.”
Since the campaign started there are now signs in Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent and Cecil counties.
Be the Bridge has no political goals, nor candidates, nor plans to have any meetings for people to come to have mass meetings or demonstrations, said Barrow. The only goal is for people to post the sign, acknowledging that they support the message of peace and racial harmony.
The yard signs cost $23 each.
If interested in ordering a sign, contact Barrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.