One only needs to look at Chestertown or Talbot County these days to see a whole new generation of young leaders as the Black Lives Matter movement and the Talbot Boys monument controversy have emerged on the Eastern Shore. After decades when the elders of these communities struggled mightily on their own to fight for racial justice without the help of millennials and generation X, many of whom having had to leave the region for school or jobs, the Delmarva has seen the dramatic rise of men and women in their thirties and forties taking up the cause of anti-racism from Kent County to Dorchester.
One of those new bright lights is pastor Cesar Gonzalez in Cambridge. Born in Panama and raised in Miami, Cesar initially took a traditional route with his career in the first ten years and after college with a successful career in publishing and journalism. It was only after he and his wife moved to Washington, D.C. that he began to question his priorities, which eventually led his family to Dorchester County and his desire to return to his spiritual roots with The Seventh-day Adventist Church. He now serves as pastor of the Cambridge Church.
Since his arrival, Cesar has not only reinvigorated his church and its mission he also emerged as a community leader in helping bridge a lingering divide in a city still healing from its history of racial strife. in working with whcp community radio, he has sponsored “the conversation” program with ministers of all political persuasions talking about race and justice, he wrote and directed a documentary called “You Don’t Know Nothin’ about Groove City,” and recently covered the repainting of the vandalized Black Lives Mural and public apology of the young man responsible to the attack.
The Spy caught up with Cesar at WHCP’s studio on Race Street a few weeks ago to talk about his own journey and that of his new commonunty of Cambridge as continues to fight for racial justice in the 21st Century.