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A gothic stone church seen from the roof of a building across the street.

Explore the stories of the people (and landmarks) from Baltimore’s Civil Rights movement Please share your comments on the first draft of our local Civil Rights heritage study

Earlier this summer, we completed the first draft of our context study on Baltimore’s Civil Rights heritage. We’ve been working on this project for two years, together with the Maryland Historical Trust and Baltimore National Heritage Area, with funding from the National Park Service, Preservation Maryland, and PNC Foundation. The completed draft covers nearly 150 years of history, politics, activism, and change from 1831 to 1976. This fall, we’re asking you to take a look and share your reactions, comments, and suggestions!

At the beginning of the project in 2015, we created a website where we could share all of our research materials and writing online. By making our research accessible online to students, educators, historians, and activists, we hope to encourage more people to learn about the history of the Civil Rights movement in Baltimore and to preserve the historic places that help tell stories from the movement. We’re using a Creative Commons license for all of our writing and using GitHub (a popular platform for open source projects) to publish the website. Our goal is to make it easier to people to reuse or help improve the resources we’re making for this project.

A black man in uniform and a black woman wearing a dress and bonnet sitting for a portrait with their two daughters on each side.
Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters, c. 1863-1865. Library of Congress.

Where can you find the context study? You can read all six sections of the context study on our website beginning with the overview or you can download a PDF that compiles all six sections into a single document. But you can also browse a map and database of over 350 related sites, buildings, and landscapes we’ve identified during our research. We put together a new tour on Explore Baltimore Heritage, that you can use to find and see a few of these places for yourself. Finally, our timeline of events is an easy way to learn how local events responded to events affecting the Civil Rights movement in Maryland and the United States.

We welcome your comments on anything big or small. Did our study miss an important place or person? Do you think we have part of the history wrong? Did we cover the most relevant themes for each period? You can send us your comments by email to info@baltimoreheritage.org or by using our project feedback form. We also have a separate form if you want to suggest adding a place to our inventory.

A crowd of African American people looking towards a stage set up in front of a large modern office building.
Charles Plaza during the first Afro-American (AFRAM) Exposition, August 7-8, 1976. Special Collections, Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore, rbcae76n0705 (CC BY-NC-ND).

Baltimore City African-American Heritage Preservation Program Grant Workshop

The goal of the AAHPP is to identify and preserve buildings, communities, and sites of historical and cultural importance to the African American experience in Maryland. This competitive program, offered once per year, is supported through an annual appropriation from the Maryland General Assembly, and is administered as a joint partnership of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and the Maryland Historical Trust.

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Rescheduled! Robert Long House 250 Lectures: African-American Community in Fell’s Point – 1760 to 1860

Join Dr. Helena S. Hicks, former CHAP Commissioner, historian, adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore and a veteran Civil Rights activist, for a lecture covering a century of history of the African-American community of Fell's Point from before the American Revolution in 1760 up through the start of the U.S. Civil War in 1860.

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Dry Dock to Douglass: A Walking Tour of African American Heritage in Fell’s Point

In the years before the Civil War, enslaved and free African Americans lived, worked, launched business careers, and were sold as slaves along the waterfront in Fell’s Point. Join historian and African American heritage leader Louis Fields on a tour to uncover the rich tapestry of African American history in this Baltimore seaport community.

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