Join us in October for Race and Place in Baltimore Neighborhoods

In addition to our regular tours this fall, in October we are pleased to host a special series called “Race and Place in Baltimore Neighborhoods.”  The series includes three Saturday morning walking tours in Upton, Greater Rosemont, and Sharp-Leadenhall and a lecture by distinguished scholar and Baltimore native Dr. Rhonda Williams.  We would love to have you join us for one or all of these!  And, thanks to the Maryland Humanities Council and Free Fall Baltimore, they are all free.

Together with scholars from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, UMBC, and Towson University, as well as neighborhood leaders from the Upton Planning Committee, the Evergreen Protective Association, and the Sharp-Leadenhall Planning Committee, we will walk through neighborhoods that have served witness to Baltimore’s challenging histories of segregation, civil rights, racial transition, displacement, urban renewal, and even historic preservation. You’re encouraged to stay for a light lunch after each tour to continue the discussion with our tour leaders as we delve into the complicated relationships between race and place and what this history means for the future of these and many other Baltimore neighborhoods.

Click here to register for one or more of the tours and the lecture or read on for more details.

Race and Place in Baltimore Neighborhoods: Walking Tours

Upton Neighborhood Tour
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Time: 10:00 AM to noon, with light lunch to follow
Place: Meet at Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church, 1206 Etting Street
Free on street parking.

Dr. David Terry, the Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, will lead this walking tour through the Upton neighborhood of West Baltimore. Once home to many African American lawyers, politicians, and activists, including Thurgood Marshall and NAACP Baltimore President Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson, Upton was also home to thriving African American shopping district and numerous night clubs and dance hall through the first half of the twentieth century. This two hour walking tour, featuring neighborhood churches, schools, and homes, will focus on local experiences of community development and civil rights.

Greater Rosemont Neighborhood Tour
Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Time: 10:00 AM to noon, with light lunch to follow
Place: Meet at the West Baltimore Farmer’s Market, 400 North Smallwood (Southwest corner of the North Smallwood and West Franklin Street at the West Baltimore MARC Station)
Free off-street parking in the West Baltimore MARC Station parking lot.

Dr. Edward Orser, a professor of American Studies at UMBC, will lead this walking tour through the Greater Rosemont area of West Baltimore. In the early 1950s, the neighborhoods of Greater Rosemont flipped from nearly exclusively white to almost completely African American through a period of rapid “white flight.” The new residents established a stable middle-class community that successfully resisted demolition by the “Highway to Nowhere.”  This two hour walking tour will take visitors from the very beginnings of the neighborhood as a streetcar suburb up through the present day and the prospect of the new Red Line light rail route.

Sharp-Leadenhall Neighborhood Tour
Date: Saturday, October 30, 2010
Time: 10:00 AM to noon, with light lunch to follow
Place: Meet at Leadenhall Baptist Church, 1021 Leadenhall Street
Free on street parking is available. Leadenhall Baptist is also a short walk from the Charm City Circulator Purple Route Cross Street Market stop.

Betty Bland-Thomas, a long-time community activist and member of the Sharp Leadenhall Planning Committee, will lead this walking tour through the Sharp Leadenhall neighborhood in South Baltimore. This community is home to Ebenezer AME, the third oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the nation, and has been home to a vital African American community since the late 1700s. As in West Baltimore, residents struggled against displacement and demolition by highways projects in the 1960s and continue to organize against gentrification. The walking tour not only highlights this long history, but will also offer a chance to hear stories from long-time residents on their everyday experiences growing up in the neighborhood in the 1940s and 1950s.

Race and Place in Baltimore Neighborhoods Lecture:  Rethinking Urban History from the Margins
Date: Thursday October 21, 2010
Time: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Place: Saints Stephen & James Evangelical Lutheran Church, 938 S Hanover St
On street parking is limited, however, the Ebenezer AME is a short walk from the Charm City Circulator Purple Route Montgomery Street stop. Additional off street parking is available at the West Street Parking Garage at 40 E. West Street between Light and Charles Streets.

Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams, a Baltimore native, associate professor at Case Western Reserve University, and author of The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women’s Struggles Against Urban Inequality, will draw on oral histories and archival research to share the stories of African American women as community activists who fought for “rights, respect, and representation” for their families and neighbors living in Baltimore public housing.  The lecture at the historic Ebenezer AME Church will challenge us to reconsider the role of public housing in Baltimore’s historic neighborhoods and its broader significance in Baltimore’s history of race and place.

Please click here to RSVP for any of these programs or for more information please contact Eli Pousson at or by cell phone at 301-204-3337.

This event series is supported by the Maryland Humanities Council and Free Fall Baltimore. Find out more information about the over 300 events in Free Fall Baltimore 2010 here or learn more about the many other events of the 2010 Baltimore Architecture Month sponsored by AIABaltimore between September 9 and October 25, including the Baltimore Heritage October 3 program Historic Baltimore by Bus.

Saints Stephen & James Evangelical Lutheran Church (938 S
Hanover St)

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