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Black History Month

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

February 2019  from 9am-5pm
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


4068 Golden Hill Rd
Church Creek, MD 21622

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Banneker Douglass Museum Photo By: 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

Visual Arts

84 Franklin St
Annapolis, MD 21401

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Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park Photo By: 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


3610 Brookeville Rd
Olney, MD 20832

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National Black Wax Museum Image

5 The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore

February Black History Month - Extended Hours
February 1-28, 2019
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


1601-03 E North Ave
Baltimore, MD 21213

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Benjamin Banneker Museum and Historical Park Photo By:

6 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


300 Oella Ave
Baltimore, MD 21228

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Montpelier Arts Center Photo By: Montpelier Arts Center

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

Through February 28, 2019
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:


Montpelier Arts Center, Laurel
Moving Out, Moving In, Moving Up - Annual Black HIstory Month Exhibition
Through February 28, 2019
Black History Month is honored with the intriguing exhibition "Moving Out, Moving In, Moving Up."  Migration has been a defining characteristic of the Black experience in the United States since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the American colonies in the early 1600s. But the early 20th century marked a new and important phase in migration as unprecedented numbers of African Americans moved from the rural South to the urban North in search of a better life. Multiple waves of this “Great Migration” would continue during the course of the 20th century into the 21st century.
More info...

Book and Film Discussion:  Mudbound
February 19, 2019
Enjoy this two-part book discussion and film viewing. We will discuss the book and movie "Mudbound."  The international bestseller, now a major motion picture from Netflix, "Mudbound", is based on two Mississippi families — one black, one white — that confront the brutal realities of prejudice, farming, and friendship in a divided World War II era. These discussions will be led by Dr. Karen Arnold, former poet-in-residence at Montpelier Arts Center and discussion moderator for multiple literature groups.
More info...


Voices From the Past:  Sissieretta Jones
February 17, 2019
Sissieretta Jones was the first African American to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1892. This Black History program is dedicated to the legacy of little known Black musicians, featuring music by a Washington National Opera soprano and narration from a historical perspective.
More info...

Publick Playhouse, Cheverly
Madre Africa-African Heritage in Latin America 
February 23, 2018
10:15-11:15am and 12 Noon-1pm
Learn how African cultures influenced and inspired fascinating rhythms, instruments and musical styles, such as candombe, festejo, tango, and salsa. As we travel through South America and the Caribbean, hear how each country developed its own blend of cultural and religious traditions while sharing a similar African heritage. Recommended for grades K-5.
More info....

Platinum Series: Let Freedom Ring: Music and Poetry of Black History
March 1, 2019
The language used by those who fought for freedom and equal rights for all 
people is uniquely powerful and beautiful. This moving show from Bright Star 
Theatre celebrates those words and brings them to life on the stage as a 
celebration of Black History Month.  For Seniors ages 60 and up. 
More info...

Black History Month Film Series: Colored frames, and In Motion: Amiri Baraka
February 20, 2019 from 7-10pm
"Colored Frames," is a look back at the last 50 years in African-American art. An unflinching exploration of influences, inspirations, and experiences of Black artists.   "In Motion" profiles the outspoken representative - formerly LeRoi Jones - of the Black consciousness movement who has been a major figure on the American literary and political landscape for three decades.
More info...

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


B&O Railroad Museum Roundhouse and Train

8 Honoring African American Employees of the B&O Railroad, Baltimore

Through Feb 28, 2019
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.

This year, the B&O Railroad Museum presents a new temporary exhibit, "Best In Service," a rare art exhibit pf paintings and photographs honoring the service of African Americans. "Best in Service" highlights the lives and service of four prominent African American B&O employees – Thurgood Marshall, Fearless M. Williams, Charles Wright and Maggie Hudson.

More about Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum


901 W Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21223

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Still We Rise Film Poster

9 Still We Rise at The Dome, Waldorf

February 2019
The film, Still We Rise, is a James E. Richmond Science Center show highlighting the influence of African Americans on aviation and flight.  Celebrate major achievements and advancements by African Americans with original productions for audiences ages 9 and up at the Digital Dome Theater. Check the website for dates and times. 


USS Constellation Photo By: USS Ships in Baltimore

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

To Catch A Thief: Constellation Fights the Slave Trade Tour
Saturdays & Sundays in February, 2019 at 1pm
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.  Tour and hands-on activities combine to bring into view Constellation's active career combating the slave trade and her exciting pursuit and 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


301 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202

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Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture

11 Black History Month at the Reginald Lewis Museum, Baltimore

February  2019
Celebrate Black History Month at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture.

The History of the NAACP:  The Baltimore Connection

February 16, 2019 from 12Noon - 3pm
Enjoy a living history performance, film and talk about the NAACP and its leaders from the Jim Crow and Civil Rights era.  See a living history performance of activist Juanita Jackson Mitchell, hear a lecture on the Baltimore branch by Professor Prudence Cumberbatch and conclude with a film screening of Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall & The NAACP (57 min). NAACP artifacts and panels covering 97 years of Maryland history will be on view.

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

Visual Arts

830 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202

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Thurgood Marshall Memorial in Annapolis Photo By: Watermark

12 African American Heritage Tour - By Watermark, Annapolis

Black History Month Tour
February 16, 2019
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

Tour Services

1 Dock St
Annapolis, MD 21401

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Frederick-Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum Photo By: VisitBaltimore

13 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

Visual Arts

1417 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231

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stained glass window

14 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

History & Heritage

16 Washington St
Cumberland, MD 21502

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The Stone Barn at Woodlawn Manor

15 Black History Month Winter Walking Tour, Sandy Spring

February 23, 2019; 10am-12Noon
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.

old photo of Josiah Henson

16 History Hour at Woodlawn Manor: Josiah Henson, Sandy Springs

February 27, 2019
A lecture series for history aficionados featuring local historians and educators, who share local and regional history. For Black History Month, Jamie Kuhns presents "Sharp Flashes of Lightning Come From Black Clouds: The Life of Josiah Henson."