The story of the African-American experience in Maryland is the story of America. From the founding of the colony, through the horrors of slavery and the heroism of the Underground Railroad, to the Jazz Age and the thriving contributions to the sciences, arts and culture of today: the Maryland African-American story is one of perseverance, courage and triumph.
Honor the life of a true American Hero along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. In Baltimore, meet icons of American history like the legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglas and revolutionary musicians like Eubie Blake, Billie Holiday, Chick Webb and Cab Calloway through the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture, the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park. And in Rockville, witness the courage of the famed Underground Railroad conductor and inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin at Josiah Henson Park.
1 Travel the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway
With over 30 sites to see along this incredible byway, you’re going to need a map! Get one at the Dorchester County Visitor Center in the waterfront town of Cambridge, which also offers guides and an exhibit about Tubman’s life. This year, Maryland is honoring the legacy of one of America’s greatest heroes, Harriet Tubman, with the opening of a new state park. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, opening March 11, offers a stirring look into the life and legacy of a woman who risked all in the name of freedom. Explore the new park and journey along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, and truly touch history.
2 Frederick Douglas - Isaac Myers Maritime Park, Baltimore
This waterfront museum in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood showcases the lives of Maryland natives Frederick Douglass and Isaac Myers, important contributors in African-American maritime history. Through a self-guided tour you’ll learn about Douglass’s time working on the docks as an enslaved child before escaping to freedom in New York, and about Myers, a free-born African-American labor leader and one of the founders of the Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Company.
More about Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park
1417 Thames Street
Baltimore, MD 21231
3 Celebrate Black History Month at Josiah Henson Park, North Bethesda
One of the most famous conductors of the Underground Railroad, Reverend Josiah Henson’s work establishing a community for fugitive slaves inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ground-breaking book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Visit the site where Henson risked his life for others before eventually escaping to Canada and his own freedom. A special weekend will feature free guided tours, the Time Team America documentary - “The Search For Josiah Henson” and a Spoken Word Poetry event.
More about Celebrate Black History Month
11420 Old Georgetown Rd
Rockville, MD 20852
4 Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park, Olney
Now a living-history museum, this two-acre tract of land served as the center of an African-American roadside community from 1880-1920. Today, furnishings depict the various stages of its history, and artifacts that were excavated onsite are also on display.
More about Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park
3610 Brookeville Rd
Olney, MD 20832
5 African Americans: Science & Nature with Benjamin Banneker
The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum features programs all month long that highlight the accomplishments of African Americans scientists. Programs include Astronomy, a Full Moon Campfire, the exploration of historic "food ways" and on Feb. 25th, a special program on Banneker and Solar Eclipses: 2017 and 1791.
More about Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum
300 Oella Ave
Baltimore, MD 21228
6 The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
The unique artistry of master wax carvers brings more than 150 life-size wax figures to life in this unique museum. Detailing the African American experience from ancient Africa to today, the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is a national treasure.
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1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213
7 Black History Month Lecture
February 17, 2017
Please join the Banneker-Douglass Museum as we celebrate Black History Month! We will be introducing a new lecture series entitled "Black History Speaks". Our first guest lecturer will be Dr. Celeste-Marie Bernier as she presents her lecture “Struggles for Liberty:” The Lives, Loves, and Letters of Frederick Douglass and His Family. Taking root out of my decades of research, this talk will shed light, for the first time, on the original, unpublished - and even in some case believed to be non-existent - letters, speeches, and essays, and writings authored not only by Frederick Douglass himself but by his daughters and sons: Rosetta Douglass-Sprague, Charles Douglass, Lewis Henry Douglass, Frederick Douglass Jr and Annie Douglass. While the fight for freedom fought by the father is known far and wide, the "struggles for liberty" endured by Douglass's own family members has yet to be told. More revealingly still, the Frederick Douglass that emerges from the pages of his own sons' and daughters' writings is a very different Frederick Douglass and one we have all "yet to meet."
84 Franklin Street
8 Celebrate Black History Month at the B&O Railroad
February 1 – February 28, 2017
Monday – Saturday (10am – 4pm), Sunday (11am – 4pm)
The B&O Railroad Museum celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the railroad industry. Learn about the men and women who filled vital jobs along the B&O Railroad's line and understand how significant social issues, such as segregation, affected railroading.
Also highlighted this month are two temporary exhibits commemorating the opening of National Museum African American History and Culture, A Place for All People & Makers of the Railroad.
More about Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
901 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21223
9 The National Aquarium Celebrates Black History Month
February 3, 2017
The National Aquarium celebrates Black History Month with a special evening of music, performances and fun for the whole family. The evening will focus on the roles African Americans have played within the Chesapeake Bay's maritime and seafood industries and examine how they are shaping its future. Interactive and hands-on experiences highlight cultural heritage. All activities are included with Aquarium admission during Half-Price Friday Nights, brought to you by M&T Bank.
More about National Aquarium in Baltimore
501 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
10 USS Constellation: "To Catch a Thief!"
Saturdays in February, 1:00 p.m.
USS Constellation - Inner Harbor, Baltimore
Constellation's proudest service may have occurred during the three years immediately before the Civil War when, as flagship of the navy's African Squadron, she led this nation's fight against the trans-Atlantic trafficking of slaves.
This one-hour tour aboard USS Constellation will focus on the US ship’s role in intercepting and prohibiting the illegal Atlantic slave trade in the years leading up to the Civil War. Tour and hands-on activities combine to bring into view Constellation’s active career combating the slave trade and her exciting capture of the slave ship Cora from which she rescued 705 captive Africans. This presentation is open to all visitors and is included with regular admission. No reservations are required.
More about USS Constellation
301 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
11 Black History Month USNA Gospel Choir Concert
February 12, 2017-
3pm - 5pm
USNA Main Chapel, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis
The United States Naval Academy Gospel Choir is an upbeat inspirational musical ensemble. Comprised of midshipmen from various places, races, and creeds, the Gospel Choir is reflective of the diverse interests and ethnicities within the Brigade of Midshipmen. Their common bond is musical talent and a passion to praise through song. Tickets are $19, available on-line, by phone or at the door that afternoon.
More about U.S. Naval Academy-Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center
52 King George Street
Annapolis, MD 21402
12 Voices of the American Experience
February 2, 2017 at 7:30pm
Weinberg Center for the Arts
Liz Vice performs as part of the Tivoli Discovery Series showcasing her deep-rooted spirituality, dynamic vocals and illuminating lyrics. Infusing gospel, soul, and R&B with a love of storytelling, Oregon-based vocalist Liz Vice brings her timeless-yet-vibrant sensibility to the Weinberg stage. Overcoming a debilitating autoimmune disease in her youth, Vice found music offered a new lease on life. This "pay what you want" donation at the door or $10 for an advance ticket serves up a haunting experience.
More about Weinberg Center for the Arts
20 W Patrick St
Frederick, MD 21701
13 Civil Rights to Star Wars at The Dome
Celebrate major achievements and advancements by African Americans with two original productions for audiences ages 9 and up at the Digital Dome Theater.
Civil Rights to Star Wars - A journey through time from Rosa Parks’ arrest through the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Relive the Montgomery bus boycott, the F.W. Woolworth Lunch Counter, and non-violent protests. Join Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from his incarceration in Birmingham, to his memorable speech at the March on Washington. Experience the despair of King’s death. Rejoice in the obstacles overcome: Americans’ landing on the Moon, missions on the Space Shuttle, and our reach into the science-fiction heavens of Star Wars.
Follow the Drinking Gourd - traces the slave trade from its African origin to freedom via the Underground Railroad.
February movies run Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:45pm and between 9am and 1pm on the first and third Saturday in February.
More about Civil Rights to Star Wars - Black History Month
5305 Piney Church Road
Waldorf, MD 20602
14 Black History Month 2017
Celebrate Black History Month at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore. Of special interest is Sons: Seeing the Modern African American Male, an exhibit that asks visitors to compare their perceptionsof Maryland black men to who these men really are.
February 11, 2017
Explore the Black Memorabilia Fine Art & Craft Show at The Lewis with special guests and the opportunity to acquire special pieces for your collection.
More about Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture
830 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
15 Baltimore Museum of Art Celebrates Black History Month
February 11, 2017
Creativity Exchange: Intersections Between Black Artists and Black-Owned Businesses
Participate in a lively discussion with Baltimore-based artists and entrepreneurs. Chat with panelists, network during a reception and vendor fair, and participate in a free workshop to strengthen your business skills creatively. RSVP required: [email protected] or 443-573-1835.
February 18, 2017
Open Hours: Balti Gurls
Join the BALTI GURLS, a women of color artist collective based in Baltimore with a particular focus on new media and cross-disciplinary practice, whose mission is to cultivate platforms and “creative safe space” for other women of color. BALTI GURLS will facilitate a workshop and activity around the idea of self-care practices.
16 Ruth Starr Rose: African American Maritime Life on Maryland's Chesapeake Bay (Exhibition)
February 4 - August 12, 2017
The Banneker-Douglass Museum's new temporary exhibition, will feature the works of art created by artist Ruth Starr Rose (1887–1965). This exhibition focuses on Rose's role in depicting black life on the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to the collection of drawings, lithographs, paintings, and fresco work, this exhibition will include interpretive panels of the art, as well as oral histories/interpretive panels of African American people in their 80's and 90's, recollecting their involvement in trades including sail making, crab picking, decoy carving, and various waterman occupations. It will be on display in both the Verda Welcome and Herbert Frisby Halls. More info...
Banneker Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street
17 African American Heritage Tour
February 18, 2017
Explore the history and culture of African-Americans in honor of Black History Month with a guided tour of the Thurgood Marshall Memorial in front of the court of appeals where Marshall had his first major victory for equality under the law for all. Visit the Kunta-Kinte Alex Haley Memorial. The tour ends at the Banneker-Douglass Museum where thoughtful exhibitions enhance the understanding of history.
18 Afrofuturism on Film - Provocative, Unsettling, Stunning
Thursday, February 9, 2017; 6:30pm
Crumbs - Afrofuturism on Film - Dir. Miguel Llanso, 2016; (68 min.)
Crumbs is the first of three exceptional visions of Afrofuturism. All screenings are free and open to the public, courtesy of Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation and Brentwood Arts Exchange at Gateway Arts Center.
The film Crumbs is set against the background of post-apocalyptic Ethiopia where scrap collector Gagano (played by charismatic Daniel Tadesse) is gripped by daydreams and constant fears. Gagano is done collecting the crumbs of decayed civilization, including the most valuable: merchandise from Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan. When a spaceship that has been hovering high in the sky for years starts showing activity, Gagano has to overcome his fears – as well as a witch, Santa Claus and second-generation Nazis – to discover things aren't quite the way he thought.
Thursday, February 16, 2017; 6:30pm
The Last Angel of History - Afrofuturism on Film - Dir. John Akomfrah. 1996. (45 min)
This cinematic essay uses science fiction traditions like alien abduction, estrangement, and genetic engineering as a metaphor for the Pan-African experience of forced displacement, cultural alienation, and otherness. Akomfrah calls on the cultural works of Pan-African artists, such as funk-master George Clinton and his Mothership Connection, Sun Ra's extraterrestrial iconography, and connections between these in the writings of black science fiction authors Samuel R. Delaney and Octavia Butler.
February 23, 2017; 6:30pm
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty - Afrofuturism on Film - Dir.Terrance Nance. 2013 (89 min)
Executive producers Jay-Z, Dream Hampton, and Wyatt Cenac present Terence Nance's explosively creative debut feature. With arresting insight, vulnerability, and humor, the film documents the relationship between Terence (Nance) and a lovely young woman (Namik Minter) as it teeters on the divide between platonic and romantic. Live action and multiple animation styles blur the line between narrative, documentary, and experimental as it explores a singular moment in time.
19 African American Historical Association Speaker Series, Hagerstown
Sat., Feb. 11, 2017 from 1-3pm
Sat., Feb. 18, 2017 from 1-3pm
Speakers from across the region present programs on a wide variety of African American topics. The programs are free to the public and will be held at the Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown, 20 South Prospect Street, in cooperation with the Contemporary School for the Arts & Gallery.