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African-American History

This category contains 28 posts

A sneak preview of “Paul Henderson: Photographing Morgan (1947–1955)”

Underbelly presents this sneak preview ahead of the opening of the Maryland Historical Society’s popular traveling exhibition of the work of photojournalist Paul Henderson. Paul Henderson: Photographing Morgan (1947–1955) runs February 4 through March 27, 2016 at Morgan University’s James E. Lewis Museum of Art and is free and open to the public. It’s thanks to Paul [...]

Life as a Fellow in the MdHS Library: Studying the Christiana Resistance

This is the first in a series of posts by Maryland Historical Society fellows which highlight their experiences researching the MdHS library and their varied and exciting historical research. The Lord Baltimore Fellowship promotes scholarship in Maryland history and culture through research in the MdHS library collections. To read more about this opportunity and how to [...]

Generations a Slave: Unlawful Bondage and Charles Carroll of Carrollton

This week’s post is a re-blog of a New York City Historical Society post that originally appeared January 15, 2014.  All images are from the collection of the New York Historical Society. You can read the original post here. Challenges to the legality of bondage, shown in acclaimed director Steve McQueen’s film 12 Years a Slave—which [...]

Halcyon Days: Lauraville in the 1930s

Recent Saturday morning trips with my mother to Lauraville once again prompted interest in our family’s deep roots in the neighborhood and the lure of the area today. Library staff receives frequent calls and research requests on the subject and claim it is one of the city’s most popular communities. We grew up listening to [...]

“Are We Satisfied?”: The Baltimore Plan for School Desegregation

(This is the second part of a two part series – The first part of the story was posted on May 15, 2014 and can be read here.) Baltimoreans, perhaps more than the residents of any other major American city, were poised to meet the challenge of school desegregation. The city’s public school system had already grappled [...]

Capturing the Movement: Before and After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Photographs

Fifty years ago this week the Civil Rights Act of 1964 voided all discriminatory laws (de jure segregation) in the public arena. It went a step further than each of its predecessors of 1866, 1871, 1875, 1957 and 1960 by outlawing racial segregation in schools, the workplace, and other public spaces. Considered the most important act in its lineage, [...]

Judge Simon Sobeloff – Moderate to the Extreme

In his home town of Baltimore Judge Simon Sobeloff (1894-1973) was known as a man of principle and conscience. Though a Republican himself, he had strong relationships with party members on each side of the aisle, including mayors Theodore McKeldin(R) and Thomas D’Alesandro Jr(D). As his grandson Michael S. Mayer put it, “[he believed that] [...]

A Thorny Path: School Desegregation in Baltimore

May 17, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education. Activism in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland had been building toward a case for integrated public education for many years prior to the decision. Maryland has almost always occupied an ambivalent position on racial matters. [...]

The Dreams of Benjamin Banneker

Over the 200 years since the death of Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806), his story has become a muddled combination of fact, inference, misinformation, hyperbole, and legend. Like many other figures throughout history, the small amount of surviving source material has nurtured the development of a degree of mythology surrounding his story. While myths make for great [...]

Return of the Whipping Post: Mining the Museum

(This is the second part of a two part series – The first part of the story was posted on October 3, 2013 and can be read here.) When a museum acquires an artifact, it often goes directly into some dark storage area never to see the light of day again. This was the case [...]

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