Black History Month: Speaker Pro Tem Sheree Sample-Hughes making history
Eastern Shore, Md. – During Black History Month we are highlighting one of the Maryland’s Eastern Shore’s own who is currently the only African-American representing the Eastern Shore in the state legislature.
Speaker Pro-Tem Sheree Sample-Hughes says she became a lawmaker simply because she wanted to be at the table of change and to make a lasting impact on her community.
Hughes is making history, alongside Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones, as the first two African-American female pair to lead the house.
That milestone is something that the Speaker Pro-Tem says she hopes sends a message to aspiring youth: that African-Americans are no longer taking a seat in the back, but are now in the front making a difference.
“For other young girls growing up and to be able to see us as two African-American female leading an institution that used to be predominately all white that’s huge,” said Sample-Hughes. “It certainly is a blessing and that is why I always try to make certain that we have a place for our youth to come to Annapolis, to see what the process is.”
She continues on to even speak on the progress bringing youth to Annapolis has made and where she hopes to see it go in the future.
“What has been really significant is that it has opened their eyes literally to opportunities that they could one day seek out for themselves and they can say ‘ah that person looks like me’ and its doable. At some point it would just be second nature and they can say ‘oh yeah we can do this,'” says Sample-Hughes.
Hughes says she believes the fight for recognition and having a voice at the table for people of color will probably continue to be a fight for a while. However, she adds if we all work together she believes we will have representatives who are as diverse as the communities they come from.