Black History Month

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

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Frederick Douglass Sign
Frederick Douglass Sign
Photo By: Clark Vandergrift
kids in museum
Frederick Douglas Issac-Meyers Maritime Park, Baltimore.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center

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 turned into 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 - Bicentennial

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

February 2018 - Saturdays and Sundays
9am-5pm - Free Black History Month Programming

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  on Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-5pm. 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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actor Photo By: Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Theater

3 Red Velvet - Baltimore

February 2-25, 2018
By Lolita Chakrabarti
Directed by Shirley Basfield Dunlap
Based on the life of the theatre trailblazer, Ira Aldridge, the award-winning Red Velvet is making its Baltimore debut at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. In this critically acclaimed biographical play, the Shakespearean actor is remembered for his achievements on the bittersweet road to international stardom more than 150 years ago.  Red Velvet takes you backstage to witness the drama as Aldridge, an African-American actor, prepares for his renowned performance of Othello in London in 1833. 
 


More about Chesapeake Shakespeare Company


Type:
Performing Arts


Location:
7 South Calvert St
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-244-8570


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Banneker Douglass Museum Photo By: Banneker Douglass Museum

4 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.

Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street
Annapolis, Maryland


More about Banneker-Douglass Museum


Type:
Visual Arts


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


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Josiah Henson Park Photo By: Montgomery Parks

5 A Walk in Father Henson's Footsteps - Josiah Henson Park - North Bethesda

Saturdays in February 2018, from 12 noon to 4pm

One of the most famous conductors of the Underground Railroad, Reverend Josiah Henson, established a community for fugitive slaves at this historic plantation. Henson inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ground-breaking book Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  The Josiah Henson Park is part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program.  Saturdays in February, the Park features screenings of the documentary “The Search For Josiah Henson.


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

6 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

7 The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum - Baltimore

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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Benjamin Banneker Museum and Historical Park Photo By: VisitMaryland.org

8 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.  Programs include Astronomy, outdoor adventures, exploration of historic "food ways," and special offerings such as Trace Your Roots, Maple Sugaring and African Americans Who Served During Wartime.

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 Photo By: Montpelier Arts Center

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

January 13 - February 28, 2018
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.  Here are just a sampling:

 


Harmony Hall Regional Center
January  28 - February 28, 2018
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the United States' involvement in World War I, "We Return Fighting:  World War I and the African-American Experience"  explores the lives of African Americans both at home and abroad during this war and the years surrounding it. Despite the oppressive racial climate in America in the opening decades of the 20th century, African-Americans staunchly supported the war effort in a variety of ways. This exhibit highlights the experiences of Black men and women, with a special focus on the African-American soldiers from Prince George’s County and their families.

Montpelier Arts Center
January 13 - February 25, 2018
Black History Month is honored with the intriguing exhibition " Relics and Prospects," contemporary artwork reflecting the lives and perspectives of the African-American experience, using symbolism and found objects. 

Publick Playhouse

January 26 - February 23, 2018
"Janelle Washington - Special Exhibition in Honor of Black History Month."
With detailed, colorful cuts on paper, Janelle Washington celebrates “African-American beauty, rich culture and history.” As she seeks to “empower [the individual] to move forward in greatness.”

Berwyn Heights Community Center
February 1 -  February 21, 2018
"One Woman's Lasting Legacy:  Henrietta Lacks" honors the legacy of a black tobacco farmer from southern Virginia who had cervical cancer when she was 30. Read about Lack's extraordinary life, her struggles, and how she left a legacy that changed modern medicine.



Click here  to learn about the many special MNCPPC programs offered during Black History Month.

 

Frederick Douglass Sign Photo By: Clark Vandergrift

10 Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Exhibit - Baltimore City Hall

February 1 - March 14, 2018
Chronicles Douglass' life, especially his time in Baltimore, involvement with the Underground Railroad, Civil War and post 1865. The exhibit includes photos, maps, quilts & more. Reservations required; [email protected].


More about Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Exhibit - Baltimore City Hall


Type:
Events


Location:
Baltimore City Hall
Baltimore, MD 21202
000-000-0000


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B&O Railroad Museum Roundhouse and Train

11 Celebrate Black History Month at the B&O Railroad - Baltimore

February 1 – 28, 2018

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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Civil Rights To Star Wars Photo By: James E. Richmond Science Center - Charles County Public Schools

12 Civil Rights to Star Wars at The Dome - Waldorf

February 17 & 21, 2018

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.

View the schedule for showtimes.


More about Civil Rights to Star Wars - Black History Month


Type:
Events


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


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USS Constellation Photo By: USS Ships in Baltimore

13 USS Constellation: To Catch a Thief - Constellation Fights the Slave Trade Tour - Baltimore

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


Type:
Attraction


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


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Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture

14 Black History Month at the Reginald Lewis Museum - Baltimore

February  2018
Celebrate Black History Month at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture.

 

Through February 28, 2018
Freedom:  Emancipation Quilted & Stitched
Regular Museum Hours
Documentary-style story quilts celebrate the contributions, lives, and legacies of people of color in Maryland. The quilts are creations by fabric artist Joan M.E. Gaither, Ph.D. and include several works that consist of community collaborations facilitated by Gaither.


 

February 10, 2018 - 12:00-4:00pm
200th Anniversary Celebration - Frederick Douglass Day @ the Lewis
Celebrate the 200th birthday of Maryland abolitionist Frederick Douglass at the Lewis with an array of activities honoring this iconic statesman. John Stauffer, a professor of English and African and African-American Studies at Harvard University will present a lecture on Frederick Douglass’ America.








February 13, 2018 - 4:00pm
Black History Month: Teacher Open House
Calling All Teachers! Gain tools to enhance your student's Black History Month experience.  Preview Reflections: Intimate Portraits of Iconic African Americans and the museum’s permanent collection, prior to bringing your students.  Teachers will receive a Heritage Highlight Tour of the permanent collection, sample a living history program and learn about available teacher resources from An African-American Journey.



 

February 18, 2018 - 2:00pm
Sundays @ 2 Films
Tell Them We Are Rising - The Story of Black Colleges and Universities
Tell Them We Are Rising explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played over the course of 150 years in American history, culture, and identity. Stanley Nelson's film reveals the rich history of HBCUs and the power of higher education to transform lives and advance civil rights and equality in the face of injustice. A conversation with co-film producer Stacey Holman will follow.


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


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Banneker Douglass Museum Photo By: Banneker Douglass Museum

15 “BENT BUT NOT BROKEN: An Artistic Celebration of the Spirit and Legacy of Frederick Douglass” - Annapolis

February 13 - May 19, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 3:00-5:00 pm
 

Maryland artist  Ulysses Marshall captures Frederick Douglass’ spirit through his highly expressive mixed media compositions; colorful and poetic collages delivered with blunt sincerity. Marshall’s work talks of the glory, pain, and hope in Douglass’ life and in the African-American experience. Guest curator Natalie Fulgencio.
 


Banneker Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street
Annapolis, Maryland


More about Banneker-Douglass Museum


Type:
Visual Arts


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


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Thurgood Marshall Memorial in Annapolis Photo By: Watermark

16 African American Heritage Tour - By Watermark - Annapolis

February 17, 2018

Learn what it was like for African-Americans living in one of the Country's first towns.  In honor of Black History Month, take an award-winning African-American Heritage tour.  Stand at the Thurgood Marshall Memorial in front of the Court of Appeals.  It was here Marshall won his first major victory for equality under the law.  Visit the stirring Kunta-Kinte Alex Haley Memorial.  The tour ends at the highly regarded Banneker-Douglass Museum, where thoughtful exhibitions enhance the understanding of history.
 

Tour departs from City Dock Information Booth, 1 Dock Street, Annapolis


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 Photo By: VisitBaltimore

17 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


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Heritage Display at Sideling Hill Welcome Center

18 Heritage Display at Sideling Hill Welcome Center

February 1-28, 2018 from 9am to 5pm
The gateway to Mountain Maryland, Sideling Hill Welcome Center, invites you to view an African-American Heritage Art Exhibition.  On display are works by local artist, founder and CEO of the Contemporary School of the Arts and Gallery Inc., Ron Lytle, of Cumberland. The display also features photography, dolls, and other works that celebrate Black History Month.

stained glass window

19 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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Featured Places
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park wide exterior view
01
Location:
4068 Golden Hill Rd
Church Creek, MD 21622
performance of woman with lanturn
02
Location:
7 South Calvert St
Baltimore, MD 21202
Watercolor of the exterior of the Bannekar-Douglass Museum
03
Location:
84 Franklin St
Annapolis, MD 21401
House at Josiah Henson Park
04
Location:
11420 Old Georgetown Rd
Rockville, MD 20852
Oakley Cabin
05
Location:
3610 Brookeville Rd
Olney, MD 20832
Wax sculptures at museum
06
Location:
1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum
07
Location:
300 Oella Ave
Baltimore, MD 21228
Frederick Douglass
08
Round House at the B&O Railroad Museum
09
Location:
901 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21223
patriotic image showing stars and stripes
10
Location:
5305 Piney Church Road
Waldorf, MD 20602
USS Constellation docked in the Inner Harbor
11
Location:
301 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202
Watercolor of the exterior of the Bannekar-Douglass Museum
13
Location:
84 Franklin St
Annapolis, MD 21401
Tour group
14
Location:
1 Dock St
Annapolis, MD 21401
students at museum
15
Location:
1417 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231
Emmanual Episcopal Church
16
Location:
16 Washington St
Cumberland, MD 21502
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