Black History Month

From its founding through today, Maryland has been shaped by the African-American experience.

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Mural of Harriet Tubman with her hands reaching out
Mural of Harriet Tubman on the Museum wall in Cambridge, MD
Image Credit: Maryland Office of Tourism
Frederick Douglass Sign
Frederick Douglass Sign
Image Credit: Clark Vandergrift

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 inspiring 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, on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Also on the Eastern Shore and then in Baltimore, legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass became an icon with his learned eloquence and spell-binding oratory.

Celebrate the life and accomplishments of Frederick Douglass on a driving tour that starts on the Eastern Shore and takes you through Annapolis and Baltimore. See the parts of Maryland that helped shape the character of the Father of Civil Rights.

Musicians such as Eubie Blake, Billie Holiday, Chick Webb and Cab Calloway became institutions in their own rights (and later had institutions built honoring their legacies).  Think of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture,  and the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute.

In Montgomery County, the courage of famed Underground Railroad conductor, Josiah Henson, the inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, at Josiah Henson Park, is celebrated.  A visit to Oakley Cabin and its trails lead to the mill at Brookeville Road and Georgia Avenue.  Just a few decades ago, the Cabin was home to an African-American community.  Today it stands as a living history museum and nature walk.

Frederick Douglass

1 Frederick Douglass and His Life

Celebrate the life and accomplishments of Frederick Douglass on a driving tour that starts on the Eastern Shore and takes you through Annapolis and Baltimore. See the parts of Maryland that helped shape the character of the Father of Civil Rights.

Portrait of Harriet Tubman

2 The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Eastern Shore

Maryland honors the legacy of one of America’s greatest heroes, Harriet Tubman, with The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center.  There you will experience a glimpse into the life of a woman who risked all in the name of freedom. Explore the new park and travel the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.  This February, the Visitor Center offers family friendly events often on the weekends. Check the website for updates.


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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Banneker Douglass Museum Image Credit: Banneker Douglass Museum

3 Celebrate Black History Month at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Annapolis

As the State of Maryland’s official museum of African-American heritage, the Banneker-Douglass Museum serves to document, interpret, and promote African-American history and culture, particularly in Maryland.
 

The Permanent Exhibit, Deep Roots, Rising Waters: A Celebration of African Americans in Maryland, provides an overview of African-American history from 1633 through present day. Learn how African Americans throughout Maryland made lasting changes for all Americans.  Notables include Mathias De Sousa, Maryland’s first African-American settler and Thurgood Marshall, the first African- American Supreme Court Judge. Learn how Benjamin Banneker used his almanac as an anti-slavery protest  in correspondence with Thomas Jefferson.  Hear one of Frederick Douglass’ many eloquent speeches against racism and slavery.


More about Banneker-Douglass Museum


Type:
Visual Arts


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


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Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park Image Credit: Montgomery Parks

4 Oakley Cabin African-American Museum and Park, Olney

This two-acre tract of land served as the center of an African-American roadside community from 1880-1920.  Today, the Oakley Cabin, inhabited until 1976, serves as a living history museum with furnishings depicting  various stages of its history.   Artifacts that were excavated onsite are also on display.  The grounds feature a trail, partially laid inside the old millrace, that leads from the cabin to the site of the mill at the intersection of Brookeville Road and Georgia Avenue.  Call 301-650-4373 to ask when the Cabin is open for tours.


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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National Black Wax Museum Image

5 The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore

Mon through Sat - 9am-5pm
Sun - 12noon - 5pm
Open Most Federal Holidays
America's first and only wax museum of African-American history and culture houses more than 100 life-size and lifelike wax figures presented in dramatic and historical scenes.  Displays take you through the pages of time with special lighting, sound effects and animation. Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Banneker and Billie Holiday, President Obama, Thurgood Marshall and many other national figures, chronicle the history of African people from around the globe. The experience is highlighted by a dramatic walk through a replica of a slave ship complete with Middle Passage history.


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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USS Constellation Image Credit: USS Ships in Baltimore

6 Special talks for Black History Month onboard the USS CONSTELLATION

February 15, 16, 22, 23, 2020
1pm
USS CONSTELLATION is distinguished for her three years of service in the African Squadron from 1859 to 1861, when as the squadron's flagship she led the United States' fight against the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved people. With the outbreak of the Civil War, armed combat against slavery soon moved beyond the bounds of the sea and consumed the nation. While the war itself marks a well-known era in American history, USS CONSTELLATION stands as an important reminder of the pre-war struggles of people, both enslaved and free, and the conditions that made the war and shaped the nation.
More info...


More about USS Constellation


Type:
Attraction


Location:
301 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-539-1797


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Benjamin Banneker Museum and Historical Park Image Credit: VisitMaryland.org

7 African Americans: Science & Nature with Benjamin Banneker, Oella

The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum features programs all month long that highlight the accomplishments of African-American scientists and notables. 
The museum’s exhibits chronicle Banneker’s contributions as a largely self-taught mathematician, astronomer, almanac writer, surveyor, abolition advocate and naturalist during the late 1700s.  Banneker is often considered the first African-American man of science.
It was from this site that Banneker crafted one of the first all-American-made wooden clocks and wrote his almanacs and famous correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. In 1791, Banneker was assigned to the Pierre L'Enfant team to survey for the new Federal City, Washington D.C.


More about Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
300 Oella Ave
Baltimore, MD 21228
410-887-1081


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Montpelier Arts Center Image Credit: Montpelier Arts Center

8 Black History Month Exhibitions - Prince George's and Montgomery Counties

The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) offers a full slate of Black History Month Programming at all its parks and partner venues throughout Prince George's and Montgomery Counties.  Click here to learn about the many special MNCPPC programs offered during Black History Month.

B&O Railroad Museum Roundhouse and Train

9 Honoring African American Contributions to the B&O Railroad, Baltimore

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.


More about Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum


Type:
Attraction


Location:
901 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21223
410-752-2490


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Harmony Hall Arts Center Image Credit: Harmony Hall Arts Center

10 Black Women & Politics: To the Ballot and Beyond - Fort Washington

January 31, 2020 - March 29, 2020
The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, protecting the right of women to vote. In honor of this historical milestone, the Annual Black History Month Exhibition looks at the history of black women in suffrage.  Visit the Harmony Hall Arts Center in Prince George's County to view this special exhibition.

James E. Richmond Science Center Image Credit: James E. Richmond Science Center

11 Black History Film Fest at The Dome/James E. Richmond Science Center, Waldorf

February 21-22-23, 2020 from 6-8pm
Three evenings of film highlight the achievements and advancements of African Americans with original productions at the Digital Dome Theater at the Richmond Science Center. Check the website for details 


More about CCPS James E. Richmond Science Center


Type:
Attraction


Location:
5305 Piney Church Road
Waldorf, MD 20602
301-934-7464


Learn More
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture

12 Black History Month at the Reginald Lewis Museum, Baltimore

Celebrate Black History Month at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture.  Among the many programs planned for Black History Month are: 

February 14 - Talks & Thoughts:  Black Male Vote.  On February 3, 1870, Congress ratified the 15th amendment granting African American men the right to vote. Join us almost 150 years to the day and participate in a conversation examining the intricacies of the black male vote in America. The discussion will be led by award-winning journalist and communications strategist Jeff Johnson, creator and executive producer of BET’s Mancave.
 

February 19 - Smithsonian Channel World Premiere:  Black in Space:  Breaking the Color Barrier -  This documentary charts the United States’ efforts to get the first African American astronaut into space at the height of the Cold War and Civil Rights Movement. Be the first to see this new documentary before it airs on the Smithsonian Channel.
 

February 20 - Museum Nights:  RBG (Red, Black & Green).  Enjoy the sounds of DJ Tanz, experiment with printmaking inspired by the exhibition "Elizabeth Catlett:  Artist as Activist" and participant in Balck History and Culture trivia.
See website for admission details. 


More about Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture


Type:
Visual Arts


Location:
830 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
443-263-1800


Learn More
Thurgood Marshall Memorial in Annapolis Image Credit: Watermark

13 African American Heritage Tour - By Watermark, Annapolis

Black History Month Tour
Tour Annapolis with a period dressed guide on this unique walking tour that explores African American heritage. African Americans have, for over 300 years, comprised a significant portion of the population of the state of Maryland, our county and the city of Annapolis. During colonial times, the labor of both slaves and free blacks was the cornerstone upon which the tobacco economy was built. In the nineteenth century, Maryland was home to more free African Americans than any other state. Twentieth century Maryland continues to grow because of the important contributions made by her African American citizens. This tour is an award winning African American tour in Maryland.


More about Annapolis Tours by Watermark


Type:
Tour Services


Location:
1 Dock St
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-268-7600


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Frederick-Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum Image Credit: VisitBaltimore

14 Frederick Douglass - Isaac Myers Maritime Park, Baltimore

This waterfront museum in Baltimore’s Fells Point showcases the lives of Maryland natives Frederick Douglass and Isaac Myers, important contributors in African-American maritime history. Through a self-guided tour, learn about Douglass’ time working on the docks as an enslaved youth before escaping to freedom in New York.  Myers, a free-born African-American labor leader rose to become 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


Learn More
stained glass window

15 Emmanuel Episcopal Church - Hub for Underground Railroad in Cumberland

The 19th-century Emmanuel Episcopal Church features unique architecture and brilliant Tiffany stained glass windows. The Church was built on the site of Fort Cumberland where there are several, well-preserved tunnels. The tunnels were dug in the 1750s by George Washington and other soldiers during the French and Indian War and used as an escape route from the battlefield. Almost 100 years later, in 1849, the Rev. David Hillhouse Buel, who was already active in the Underground Railroad in Maryland, felt the tunnels underneath the church would be a perfect stop on the Underground Railroad. Schedule a visit to tour the tunnels - Free! (301) 777-3364.


More about Emmanuel Episcopal Church


Type:
History & Heritage


Location:
16 Washington St
Cumberland, MD 21502
301-777-3364


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The Stone Barn at Woodlawn Manor

16 Black History Month Winter Walking Tour, Sandy Spring

February 29, 2020
Take a guided tour of the grounds and buildings of Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park and discover the role enslaved labor played on this 19th-century farm. Explore how the enslaved could have nature for escape and evasion while seeking freedom.  Suitable for ages 8 and up; $8 per person.  Visit the website for other Black History Month programs.


More about Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park


Type:
Attraction


Location:
16501 Norwood Rd
Sandy Spring, MD 20860
301-929-5989


Learn More
Harriet Tubman:  In Her Own Words with Janice Curtis Greene, Storyteller and American Griot Image Credit: Janice Curtis Greene, Storyteller and American Griot

17 Harriet Tubman: In Her Own Words, Multiple Locations in Maryland

February 2020 - Various Engagements All Month
Janice Curtis Greene is an accomplished storyteller, an American Griot. She has been telling African, African American and Multicultural stories for over 25 years. Hear Janice tell the story of "Harriet Tubman: In Her Own Words"  There are a number of opportunities to witness this story and others throughout February.  Please consult the calendar here.

Josiah Henson Image Credit: New York Public Library

18 See all Black History Month Events

Check our calendar for a full list of Black History Month events

Featured Places
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park wide exterior view
01
Location:
4068 Golden Hill Rd
Church Creek, MD 21622
Watercolor of the exterior of the Bannekar-Douglass Museum
02
Location:
84 Franklin St
Annapolis, MD 21401
Oakley Cabin
03
Location:
3610 Brookeville Rd
Olney, MD 20832
Wax sculptures at museum
04
Location:
1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213
USS Constellation docked in the Inner Harbor
05
Location:
301 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum
06
Location:
300 Oella Ave
Baltimore, MD 21228
Round House at the B&O Railroad Museum
07
Location:
901 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21223
James E. Richmond Science Center
09
Location:
5305 Piney Church Road
Waldorf, MD 20602
Tour group
11
Location:
1 Dock St
Annapolis, MD 21401
students at museum
12
Location:
1417 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231
Emmanual Episcopal Church
13
Location:
16 Washington St
Cumberland, MD 21502
Stone barn at Woodlawn Museum
14
Location:
16501 Norwood Rd
Sandy Spring, MD 20860
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