A Maryland
Civil Rights Sojourn

Drayden African American Schoolhouse Exterior
St. Mary's County Museum Division

As our nation celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Governor Wes Moore has proclaimed 2024 as The Year of Civil Rights in Maryland. Plan a visit to sites where these brave Marylanders fought to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 's dream a reality for all. Hear powerful stories of activism and heroism that created a lasting impact on our communities and society.


Civil Rights Journey on the Eastern Shore

A visit to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, once home to great Marylanders such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, provides a unique view of the civil rights movement. After crossing the Chesapeake Bay, begin your Eastern Shore civil rights sojourn with a look at segregated schooling in Kent County at the 1890 African American Schoolhouse Museum. In addition to an interpretive marker detailing the history of this segregated site, the museum has a collection of 19th- and early 20th-century photographs, oral histories and artifacts that shed light on the lives and contributions of Kent County's African-American community.



Your exploration of segregated education on the Eastern Shore continues in Queen Anne’s County at the Kennard High School. The restored school building is now home to the Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center, which chronicles African-American life in both Queen Anne’s County and the nation, with an emphasis on 1936-1966 when the school was open.  Explore the museum’s exhibits which portray African-American culture in education, employment, military contributions, business and civic life through pictures and artifacts.

A visit to Pine Street in Cambridge in Dorchester County will bring you to the site of the nationally known “Cambridge Movement.” For more than half of the 20th century, the city of Cambridge supported two bustling downtowns. One was centered along Race Street (named after a mill race) and catered to mostly white residents, while the other, which ran up Pine Street, served mainly Black residents. It was in the Pine Street community that the “Cambridge Movement,”  a community-based protest movement led by Gloria Richardson, took place. The upheaval that arose from the “Cambridge Movement” resulted in the longest martial law deployment in the United States since 1877. Learn about one of the most significant chapters in U.S. civil rights history on the self-guided Dorchester County Pine Street Walking Tour.


Exterior of the Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center and Museum in Centerville, Queen Anne's County.

The historic Henry's Hotel in Ocean City.

An African American Schoolhouse located in Kent County.

Rev.. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley Mural in Berlin, MD.

Exterior picture of the San Domingo School in Sharptown, Wicomico County.


Take the African-American heritage driving tour of the lower Eastern Shore - Storyways: A Journey of Faith and Freedom - the perfect way to cap off your Maryland civil rights tour. This wide-ranging tour winds its way through Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties.  In addition to stops at significant civil rights sites at segregated hotels, beaches, and schools, this comprehensive tour takes you through 300 years of history to trace the long Black freedom struggle in Maryland.


Places to Stay on the Eastern Shore