Photo Credit: Jenny Proebstle, Office of County Executive Pittman.
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, County Councilmembers, the Caucus of African American Leaders, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, family members, community leaders, and members of the public recognized former Councilmember Sarah E. Carter during a building renaming ceremony.
“Councilmember Sarah E. Carter’s name will now be remembered by all of Anne Arundel County,” said County Executive Pittman “I want to thank the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Committee, the Caucus of African American leaders, and all who came out to celebrate this historic moment.”
Councilmember Carter made history when she became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Anne Arundel County Council, where she served for eight years. In 1974, she won the countywide election by 13 votes and is, to date, the only African-American woman to hold that position.
“Sarah E. Carter’s election in 1974 resonated with African Americans in the same way as Governor Wes Moore’s did,” said Carl Snowden, the Convener of the Caucus of African American Leaders.
Before running for office, Mrs. Carter was an active and well-respected community member. She served on many boards and commissions, hosted voter registration drives, and worked at the polls. She was known for being passionate, dependable, and a voice for underrepresented residents.
Regarding the issues, Councilwoman Carter strongly advocated for worker’s rights and health equity. She created the Well Baby Clinic in Brooklyn Park during a time when African-American children and women lacked access to public health care. Believing that all children, regardless of race, should have access to a quality education, she and her family also rehabilitated an old building to create classrooms for African-American children in her neighborhood. She was later instrumental in the push for the integration of public education in the county.
The former Sarah Howard spent most of her life in the Cedar Hill section of the county near Brooklyn Park. She graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore and attended Anne Arundel Community College. Mrs. Sarah Carter died on January 20, 1998, in Dover, Delaware, and is survived by five sons and three daughters.
“We are immensely proud,” said Councilwoman Carter’s daughter Vanessa Carter. “We always knew what a wonderful woman she was. It’s nice to know that others appreciated her contribution to the county.”
During the ceremony, which took place on the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, current and former elected officials offered remarks about Councilwoman Carter’s life and the significance of the event before unveiling the new building sign.
The Sarah E. Carter Building, formerly known as the Arundel Center North, is located in Glen Burnie, Maryland and is home to the Anne Arundel Community College’s Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism (HCAT) Institute. Funding for the building renaming was contributed by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Anne Arundel County by the request of the Caucus of African American Leaders.