Harriet Tubman mural

Celebrate Black History in Maryland

Harriet Tubman mural

From the founding of the colony through today, Maryland has been shaped by African Americans. The story of their experience is one of perseverance, courage and triumph from the horrors of enslavement to the heroism of the Underground Railroad to the creativity of the Jazz Age to the struggles of the Civil Rights movement and up to today’s inspiring contributions to the sciences, arts and culture.

Journey through Maryland and honor the lives of American heroes like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Josiah Henson, Thurgood Marshall, and Lillie Carroll Jackson. Celebrate their legacies during special Black History Month events in February and throughout the rest of the year.

Frederick Douglass Driving Tour
Frederick Douglass

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.

A Maryland Civil Rights Sojourn
People participating in the Marble Hill Civil Rights Walking Tour
Baltimore Heritage

Explore the history of civil rights in Maryland on a driving tour that takes you across the state. Learn the stories and see the sites where Black Marylanders fought for equal access under the law and secured lasting change in their communities.

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and State Park
Church Creek
Portrait of Harriet Tubman

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 park and travel the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

Banneker-Douglass Museum
Banneker Douglass Museum

As Maryland’s official museum of African-American heritage, the Banneker-Douglass Museum documents, interprets and promotes African-American history and culture. A permanent exhibit, “Deep Roots, Rising Waters: A Celebration of African Americans in Maryland,” provides an overview of African-American history from 1633 through today. Explore stories of Mathias De Sousa, Maryland’s first African-American settler, Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court judge and Benjamin Banneker, who used his almanac as an anti-slavery protest in correspondence with Thomas Jefferson.

Oakley Cabin African-American Museum and Park
Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park
Montgomery Parks

Visit Oakley Cabin and follow its trails to the mill at Brookeville Road and Georgia Avenue. This 2-acre tract served as the center of an African-American roadside community from 1880 to 1920. Today, the 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, leading from the cabin to the mill. Call ahead to ask when the cabin is open for tours.

The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
National Great Blacks in Wax Museum - Obama Figure
Visit Baltimore/Dean Ray

America's first and only wax museum celebrating African-American history and culture houses more than 100 life-size and lifelike wax figures presented in dramatic and historical scenes. Displays at The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum take you through the pages of time with special lighting, sound effects and animation to chronicle the history of notable figures from around the world. They include Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Banneker, Billie Holiday, President Barack Obama, Thurgood Marshall and many others. The experience is highlighted by a dramatic walk through a replica of a slave ship complete with Middle Passage history.

USS Constellation
USS Constellation
USS Ships in Baltimore

The 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. The war marks a well-known era in American history, and today the USS Constellation is open for tours, serving 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.

Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum
Benjamin Banneker Museum and Historical Park

The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum features programs highlighting the accomplishments of African American scientists and notables. Banneker is often considered the first African-American man of science. Museum exhibits chronicle his contributions as a largely self-taught mathematician, astronomer, almanac writer, surveyor, abolition advocate and naturalist during the late 1700s. It was here that Banneker crafted one of the first American-made wooden clocks and wrote his almanacs and famous correspondence with Thomas Jefferson.

The B&O Railroad
B&O Railroad Museum Roundhouse and Train

The B&O Railroad Museum celebrates and honors the contributions of African Americans to the railroad industry. Learn about the men and women who filled vital jobs along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's line and understand how significant social issues, such as segregation, affected railroading.

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

Visitors can explore more than 400 years of Maryland’s African-American heritage at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. Special Black History Month events in February and year-round exhibits, performances and programs are offered in the 82,000-square-foot Smithsonian affiliate.

African American Heritage Tour By Watermark
Thurgood Marshall Memorial in Annapolis

See Annapolis with a period-dressed guide on this award-winning walking tour that explores African-American heritage. Key stops include the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial and the Thurgood Marshall Memorial. African Americans have, for more than 300 years, comprised a significant portion of the population in Maryland, Anne Arundel County and Annapolis. In the 19th century, Maryland was home to more free African Americans than any other state.

Frederick Douglass - Isaac Myers Maritime Park
Frederick-Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum

This waterfront museum in Baltimore’s Fells Point showcases the lives of Maryland natives Frederick Douglass and Isaac Myers, who were important contributors in African-American maritime history. Through a self-guided tour, learn about Douglass’s 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.

Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
Silver Spring
The Stone Barn at Woodlawn Manor

Join a guided tour of the grounds and buildings at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park and discover the role of enslaved labor on this 19th-century farm. Explore the on-site museum and manor house, and walk on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail that freedom seekers followed.