Discover Maryland's African-American History

By Jenny Buchet

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Bucktown Store Dorchester City
Bucktown Store Dorchester City
Photo By: Visit Dorchester

Witness the strength and courage of the human spirit when you tour these historic sites along The Underground Railroad, including authentic slave cabins and “flight to freedom” trails, plus discover the contributions of African-Americans to the maritime history of the Chesapeake.

Dorchester County Courthouse Photo By: Visit Dorcester

1 The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Caroline and Dorchester Counties

At the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and State Park visitors become immersed  in Tubman’s world through informative, evocative  exhibits. Enjoy kayaking through the waterways of Joseph Stewart’s Canal near Parson’s Creek, where Tubman learned vital survival skills, or take the family for a stroll around Adkin’s Arboretum near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely to examine how nature both helped and hindered freedom seekers traversing this 400-acre preserve of wetlands and woodlands.  

Click here for more information on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway


More about Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and State Park


Type:
Attraction


Location:
4068 Golden Hill Rd
Church Creek, MD 21622
410-221-2290


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Button Farm Living History Center Photo By: Heritage Montgomery

2 Button Farm, Germantown

When preparing for Beloved, Oprah toured Germantown’s Button Farm, a living-history center that transports visitors to an 18th-century plantation and the heroic journey of the Underground Railroad. Learn what it might have been like to escape, survive in the woods and elude slave trackers, or help with plantation-era chores, walk through an authentic 19th-century garden and see heritage livestock.


More about Button Farm Living History Center


Type:
Attraction


Location:
16820 Black Rock Rd
Germantown, MD 20874
301-916-7090


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Frederick Douglass Sign Photo By: Clark Vandergrift

3 Frederick Douglass-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


Type:
Visual Arts


Location:
1417 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231
410-685-0295


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Josiah Henson Park Photo By: Montgomery Parks

4 Josiah Henson Park, North Bethesda

Visit this site where Reverend Henson lived and worked until he escaped slavery to Canada, established a community for fugitive slaves and continued to work as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. His true-life stories inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ground-breaking book Uncle Tom’s Cabin.


More about Josiah Henson Park


Type:
Attraction


Location:
11420 Old Georgetown Rd
Rockville, MD 20852
301-650-4373


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Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park Photo By: Montgomery Parks

5 Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park, Olney

From 1880-1920, this living-history museum on a two-acre tract of land served as the center of an African-American roadside community that housed both black and white residents who sold produce and handmade items to travelers. 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


Type:
Attraction


Location:
3610 Brookeville Rd
Olney, MD 20832
301-650-4373


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Banneker Douglass Museum Photo By: Banneker Douglass Museum

6 Banneker-Douglass Museum, Annapolis

The Official State of Maryland Museum of African American heritage provides exhibits and collections that improve the understanding and appreciation of America’s rich cultural diversity.  The Permanent Exhibit, "Deep Roots, Rising Waters: A Celebration of African Americans in Maryland," provides an overview of African American history in Maryland from 1633 through present day. Visit and discover how African Americans throughout Maryland made lasting changes affecting all Americans.


More about Banneker-Douglass Museum


Type:
Visual Arts


Location:
84 Franklin St
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-216-6180


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Visit Maryland

7 National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore

The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum is among the nation's most dynamic cultural and educational institutions. Because it is a wax museum committed solely to the study and preservation of African American history, it is also among the most unique. Life-size, life-like wax figures highlight historical and contemporary personalities of African ancestry. Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Banneker. Billie Holiday, and other national figures, chronicle the history of African people from around the globe. The replica of a slave ship complete with Middle Passage history is among one of the most stirring experiences anywhere.


More about The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213
410-563-3404


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Reginald-F-Lewis-Museum Building Exterior Photo By: Courtesy of Jane Yoon

8 The Reginald F. Lewis Museum

The museum's permanent collection is a gateway to the history and living culture of Maryland's African Americans. The collection includes art, artifacts, textiles, material culture, photographs, rare books and other items. Some of the largest collections focus on African American military experience, early American jazz recordings, and Maryland community history.

The collection of slave narratives documents the experiences of Maryland’s enslaved population from as early as the 18th century. These narratives recount stories of family life, the institution of slavery in the country and city, religion, escape and life in freedom.


More about The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213
410-563-3404


Learn More
Featured Places
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park wide exterior view
01
Location:
4068 Golden Hill Rd
Church Creek, MD 21622
Farmhouse exterior
02
Location:
16820 Black Rock Rd
Germantown, MD 20874
students at museum
03
Location:
1417 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231
House at Josiah Henson Park
04
Location:
11420 Old Georgetown Rd
Rockville, MD 20852
Oakley Cabin
05
Location:
3610 Brookeville Rd
Olney, MD 20832
Watercolor of the exterior of the Bannekar-Douglass Museum
06
Location:
84 Franklin St
Annapolis, MD 21401
Wax sculptures at museum
07
Location:
1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213
Wax sculptures at museum
08
Location:
1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213
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