Black Baltimore Table
Links to Articles on People and Events
Blacks have had a major presence in the city of Baltimore since its founding in the early 1700s. They made their numbers relevant during the Revolutionary War. The British offered freedom to escaped slaves. Thus Blacks fought on both sides of this war and remained in the city afterwards.
Although slavery was legal in Baltimore and in the state of Maryland, free blacks developed churches and other organizations to assist their persecuted brothers and sisters. There were more free persons of color than slaves in Baltimore, more than any other Southern city.
The African Methodist Episcopal Conference took place in the city in 1827. The famous St. James Episcopal Church was founded in 1827, along with the first black private school for girls. The Oblate Order was founder in 1829. Frederick Douglass worked the docks of Fells Point in East Baltimore and Harriet Tubman passed through many times on her sojourns to free black men, women, and children.
By 1850 there were over 25,000 free blacks in the city, making up 15% of the city population. Free blacks helped to set up 30 to 40 mutual aid societies with fraternal, welfare, and insurance dimensions. After the Civil War, African Americans continued to develop black institutions. Today’s Morgan State University, which was called Centenary Biblical institute, was founded shortly after the Civil War.Baltimore History
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Racism: A History, the 2007 BBC 3-part documentary explores the impact of racism on a global scale. It was part of the season of programs on the BBC marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It’s divided into 3 parts.
The first, The Colour of Money . . . Racism: A History 1/3
Begins the series by assessing the implications of the relationship between Europe, Africa and the Americas in the 15th century. It considers how racist ideas and practices developed in key religious and secular institutions, and how they showed up in writings by European philosophers Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.
The second, Fatal Impact . . . Racism: A History  – 2/3
Examines the idea of scientific racism, an ideology invented during the 19th century that drew on now discredited practices such as phrenology and provided an ideological justification for racism and slavery. The episode shows how these theories ultimately led to eugenics and Nazi racial policies of the master race.
And the 3rd, A Savage Legacy . . . Racism: A History  – 3/3
Examines the impact of racism in the 20th century. By 1900 European colonial expansion had reached deep into the heart of Africa. Under the rule of King Leopold II, the Belgian Congo was turned into a vast rubber plantation. Men, women and children who failed to gather their latex quotas would have their limbs dismembered. The country became the scene of one of the century’s greatest racial genocides, as an estimated 10 million Africans perished under colonial rule.
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Alvin K. Brunson: The Avenue (historical overview)
Baltimore History (historical overview)
Baltimore Black Sliding & Budgets (Fred Mason Interview)
Baltimore’s Old Slave Markets (Baltimore Sun article)
The Beautiful Struggle (book review by Acklyn Lynch)
Ben Carson’s Baltimore (video)
Benjamin Arthur Quarles (bio-chronology)
The Big Boys (Afaa Michael Weaver)
Boys of Baraka (film review)
A Brief Economic History of Modern Baltimore (Local 1199)
Brother Rudy (Austin L. Sydnor Jr. poem)
Buffalo Soldiers Day (Tiger Davis)
Capoeira Angola (event)
Case of Parren J Mitchell (commentary by D. Martin Glover)
Chester Wickwire Desegregating Gwynn Oak Amusement Park (article by Sean Yoes)
Children Are Our Future (Yvonne Terry)
Child Support (book review by R. Lewis)
Citizens of Color (historical overview)
City Council (historical overview)
Clarence Logan and the Northwood Movement (report on CIG leader)
A Depravity of Logic (essay by Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr.)
The Dilemma of Pete Rawlings (commentary by R. Lewis)
Dominance of Johns Hopkins (Local 1199)
Douglass’ 1845 Narrative (literary essay by R. Lewis)
Douglass Historical Marker (event)
The Exiles: Kathleen Cleaver Interview (Madeline Murphy)
Exploring Race, Gender, Class in Public Housing (book review)
For Men Only (Kalb Faouly Attimn Tshamba poem)
(bio by R. Lewis)
A Great Time to Be Alive (Morgan State Commencement Address by Martin Luther King)
Historic Pennsylvania Avenue (commentary by D. Martin Glover)
Historiography and African Americans: Benjamin Quarles (essay by Wilson J. Moses)
Home (Austin L. Sydnor Jr.poem)
Idle Minds Have Idle Time (Austin L. Sydnor Jr. poem)
Industrial Me (Afaa Michael Weaver)
Inequities of Baltimore Black Youth (commentary by R. Lewis)
Introduction to Reflections (to poems by Thomas Long)
Jesse Jackson Scourged in The Baltimore Times (editorial by R. Lewis)
Last Man Standing (poem for Bea Crockett)
“Liberals” Hate the Military? (essay by Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr.)
Mr. Officer (poem by Thomas Long)
A Naïve Political Treatise (essay by Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr.)
The Negro in the American Revolution (book review)
New Day Poem (Melvin E. Brown)
Pass the Mic! Tour of Tavis Smiley (editorial by R. Lewis)
Poem at Central Booking (DeAndre McCullough)
The Politics of Public Housing (book reviews)
A Post Industrial Blues (essay by Amin Sharif)
The Politics of Public Housing (book reviews)
Prayer Tradition of Black People — Harold A. Carter (book review)
Remembering Reggie (Tiger Davis)
A Report on a Gathering at Red Emma’s (essay by Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr.)
Response to Project 21 (letter to editor by Amin Sharif)
Reverend Dr. Vashti Murphy McKenzie (essay by Jennifer McCall)
Reverend Marion Bascom’s Civil Righting (Interview)
(bio by R. Lewis)
Root Song (poem by Melvin E. Brown)
Roy Wilkins and Spiro Agnew Speak (Press Conference)
Sam Cornish: 1935 Memoir (excerpts)
School Daze (essay by Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr.)
Self-Sufficiency Standard (letter from Bob Moore)
Some Religious Pimps (Kalb Faouly Attimn Tshamba poem)
The State of Black Journalism (commentary by R. Lewis)
Struggle Continues (Kalb Faouly Attimn Tshamba poem)
Thug Life (poem by Thomas Long)
(commentary by R. Lewis)
(essay by Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr.)
Walter Hall Lively (bio by R. Lewis)
Wayfarer 4th Quarter 1967Black Baltimore (photo album)
Who Will Lead (commentary D. Morton Glover)
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A Response by Father Henry Offer, Gilbert Ware, and Others
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Black Bank founded in 1920 in Baltimore is shut down
Ideal Federal Savings Bank, of Baltimore, Maryland [1629 Druid Hill Avenue], was shut down on Friday [9 July 2010] by the Office of Thrift Supervision, ninety years after it was established. Founded by Teackle Wallis Lansey, Ideal was the oldest Black owned financial depository in the state of Maryland. The bank was established to help black families purchase homes in the Baltimore area. It opened its doors for the first time one Thursday evening in August 1920. The bank was located in the same community for 88 years, owning and occupying the same building in Baltimore since its founding. In 1962, the Bank was reorganized by E. Gaines Lansey, son of the founder and William H. Murphy, Sr., a prominent Baltimore City lawyer, who was named the new President. In 1986, E. Gaines Lansey, Sr. was elected President.
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Daniel Alexander Payne Murray (1852-1925) Assistant librarian, Library of Congress; bibliographer, author, politician, and historian was the son of a freed slave. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 3, 1852. In 1861, he went to work at the United States Senate Restaurant managed by his brother who was also a caterer. Murray became the personal assistant to the Librarian of Congress, Ainsworth Rand Spofford at the age of nineteen. On April 2, 1879 he married Anna Evans with whom he had seven children. By 1881 he had risen to become assistant librarian. He joined the professional staff of the Library of Congress in 1871. He was eighteen years old, and only the second black American to work for the Library. Ten years later Murray was named assistant librarian, a position he held for forty-one years. Murray married educator Anna Jane Evans, and the couple became a major force in the social and civic life of the District of Columbia.
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title=”Baltimore” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore”>Baltimore), pioneer civil rights activist, organizer of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. . . .As a successful owner of rental property, Jackson was free to engage in activities which led to community improvement. She sponsored the City-Wide Young Peoples forum with her daughter Juanita in the leadership in the early 1930s. The forum conducted a campaign to end racial segregation beginning with the grassroots “Buy Where You Can Work” campaign of 1931. Jackson and her daughter Juanita along with the forums’ members encouraged African American residents of Baltimore to shop only at businesses where they could work, boycotting businesses with discriminatory hiring practices. The campaign’s success led to similar protests in other cities around the country. . . . That was the beginning of her thirty-five year tenure with the NAACP, in a role as president of the Baltimore branch in 1935, a position she held until retirement in 1970.
1934 saw the beginning of Thurgood Marshall‘s employment with the Baltimore NAACP branch. The next year he won a landmark case financed by the Baltimore NAACP, Murray v. Pearson, removing the color barrier from admissions to the University of Maryland School of Law. In 1946 she founded the Maryland state conference of the NAACP and was elected to the National Board of Directors in 1948.
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Father Divine (May 1879September 10, 1965), the noted and controversial founder of the Peace Mission movement, gained national prominence during the Great Depression for his ability to feed and provide jobs for the poor, as well as for his followers’ claims that he was God. Born George Baker in Rockville, Maryland, in 1879, Divine grew up in poverty and segregation, the son of ex-slaves who were menial laborers. Although he had limited educational opportunities, he became an avid reader of religious literature. In 1899, he moved to Baltimore, where he worked as a gardener and taught Sunday school in a storefront church. During these years, Baker formulated a unique theology that blended New Thought (the mind power philosophy that encouraged believers to channel God’s inner presence for happiness, prosperity, and health), African-American Christianity, Pentecostalism, and other religious ideologies.
In 1912, convinced that he had achieved oneness with God, he set out as an itinerant preacher and attracted a small following who recognized his divinity. In 1919, Baker, now known as Father Divine, settled with his flock and lived peacefully in Sayville, Long Island. But with the onset of the Depression, Divine’s congregation expanded and his white neighbors turned hostile and complained, which lead to his conviction in 1932 for maintaining a public nuisance. Only four days after handing down the maximum sentence, the presiding judge died suddenly. The incident propelled Father Divine into the national limelight.JiffyNotes.com
God, Harlem U.S.A.: The Father Divine Story by Jill Watts
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Emory Ryan Cole, 1137 Myrtle Street, Republican, Baltimore 4th; born in Cockeysville, Baltimore County, September 3, 1893. He attended the Baltimore County public schools, Bowie State Normal School; Howard University and Howard University School of Law, receiving the degree of LL.B. in 1923. Attorney. Served in 331st Field Artillery, 1917-1919. Member of Maryland State Bar; Elks, Masons, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War. Married. Elected House of Delegates in 1954. Harry A. Cole (state senate), Truly Hatchett, Emory Ryan Cole were the first African Americans elected to the Maryland legislature in 1954.
Truly Hatchett, 2026 Druid Hill Avenue, Democrat, Baltimore 4th; born in Baltimore, June 15, 1881. He attended Baltimore public schools. Real Estate and Insurance Broker. Former member of the Baltimore Rehabilitation Commission, Maryland Interracial Commission and the Board of Managers of Barrett School for Girls. Chairman of Board of Managers, Druid Hill Avenue Y.M.C.A. Member of Elks. Married. Elected to the House of Delegates in 1954.
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Harry A. Cole, 2218 Madison Ave, Republican, Baltimore 4th; born in Washington, D. C., January 1, 1921. He attended the public schools of Baltimore, Morgan State College, graduating in 1943, and the University of Maryland Law School, graduating in 1949. Attorney. Member of the Maryland Bar. Formerly Justice of the Peace
of Baltimore City and Assistant Attorney General of Maryland. From 1943 to 1946 he served as 1st Lieutenant, Quartermaster Corps. Secretary Monumental City Bar Association.
Member, YMCA, Urban League, NAACP. First African American elected to the Senate in 1954. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1949. Associate Judge, Municipal Court of Baltimore City, 1967. Associate Judge, Supreme Bench of Baltimore City (now Circuit Court), 1967-77. Associate Judge, Maryland Court of Appeals, 1977-91.
Cole married the former Doris Freeland in 1958; three daughters: Susan, Harriette and Stephanie. He died of pneumonia at Church Home, Baltimore, Maryland on February 14, 1999 (Wikipedia).
Judge Cole had an extensive collection of music that ranged from Count Basie to Frank Sinatra. He also loved to dance, said his wife of 41 years, the former Doris Freeland. “He thought everyone ought to be able to dance,” she said. “We would often dance the night away.” In retirement, he used his legal skills as head of a commission that recommended revisions in the Baltimore City charter.DailyPress
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Henrietta Vinton DavisBorn in Baltimore in 1860, she moved to Washington, D.C., as a girl, and as a young woman launched a career as an actress and elocutionist. For more than 25 years, she criss-crossed the United States and the Caribbean, performing everything from Shakespeareshe is purportedly the first African-American woman to do soto the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and winning acclaim from audiences and press, both black and white alike. And then, approaching her 60th birthday, she traded acting for activism and put her skills to use in the service of Marcus Garvey, his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and the causes of black nationalism and pan-African liberation. Though she eventually fell out with Garvey, she devoted her life to black nationalist causes until her death in 1941. . . . Only three things are known about Henrietta Vinton Davis father. His name was Mansfield Vinton Davis, he was a musician, and he died sometime around the time his daughter was born. Henriettas mother, the former Mary Ann Johnson, was left a teenage widow with a child to raise. She quickly remarried, to a businessman named George A. Hackett.
According to Leroy Grahams book Baltimore: The 19th Century Black Capital, Hackett was as well-known and respected as any black man in Baltimore at that time, with the possible exception of his friend and associate Frederick Douglass. In 1860, the year Henrietta was born, Hackett was in the thick of a fight against a piece of state legislation known as the Jacobs Bill. Put forth by Eastern Shore legislator C.W. Jacobs in reaction to John Browns Harpers Ferry raid the year before, the bill proposed that all adult blacks in the stateincluding Marylands sizeable free black populationbe deported to Africa and that all black children in the state be enslaved, including those who had been born free. Hackett rallied opposition to the bill, circulating petitions and delivering speeches. Though the legislature actually passed it, the measure failed in a statewide referendum.CityPaper
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Dr. Martin D. Jenkins, PhD (September 4, 19041978) was an African American educator, known for his pioneering work in the field of education. He graduated with a B.S. in Engineering in 1925,from Howard University. Upon earning an engineering degree from Howard, Jenkins became a partner with his father in a Terre Haute highway contracting business while taking classes at State Normal. He secured an A.B. degree in Education from Indiana State in 1931 and, on September 7, 1927, wed Elizabeth Lacy.
After teaching briefly at Virginia State College (now Virginia State University), Jenkins began graduate work at Northwestern University under Terre Haute native and Indiana State alumnus, Paul A. Witty.
He earned a masters in 1933 and a doctorate in education in 1935. His dissertation was a socio-psychological study of African-American children of superior intelligence. Before becoming President of Morgan State College of Baltimore in 1948, Jenkins was registrar and professor of education at North Carolina A&T (19351937); dean of instruction at Cheyney State (Pa.) Teachers College (now Cheyney University) (19371938); and professor of education, Howard University (19381948).
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By Stokely Carmichael
By Rudolph Lewis
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Richard J. Cox)
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By C. Fraser Smith
Though he lived throughout much of the Southand even worked his way into parts of the North for a timeJim Crow was conceived and buried in Maryland. From Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney’s infamous decision in the Dred Scott case to Thurgood Marshall’s eloquent and effective work on Brown v. Board of Education, the battle for black equality is very much the story of Free State women and men. Here, Baltimore Sun columnist C. Fraser Smith recounts that tale through the stories, words, and deeds of famous, infamous, and little-known Marylanders. He traces the roots of Jim Crow laws from Dred Scott to Plessy v. Ferguson and describes the parallel and opposite early efforts of those who struggled to establish freedom and basic rights for African Americans. Following the historical trail of evidence, Smith relates latter-day examples of Maryland residents who trod those same steps, from the thrice-failed attempt to deny black people the vote in the early twentieth century to nascent demonstrations for open access to lunch counters, movie theaters, stores, golf courses, and other public and private institutionsstruggles that occurred decades before the now-celebrated historical figures strode onto the national civil rights scene.
Smith’s lively account includes the grand themes and the state’s major players in the movementFrederick Douglass, Harriett Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, and Lillie May Jackson, among others.and also tells the story of the struggle via several of Maryland’s important but relatively unknown men and womensuch as Gloria Richardson, John Prentiss Poe, William L. “Little Willie” Adams, and Walter Sondheimwho prepared Jim Crow’s grave and waited for the nation to deliver the body.Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008
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By Ellis Cose
From a venerated and bestselling voice on American life comes a contemporary look at the decline of black rage; the demise of white guilt; and the intergenerational shifts in how blacks and whites view, and interact with, each other. In the heady aftermath of President Obama’s election, conventional wisdom suggested that the bitter, angry, and destructive elements
of discrimination were ebbing at last and America was becoming a postracial nation. . . . Weaving material from myriad interviews as well as two large and ambitious surveys that he conductedone of black Harvard MBAs and the other of graduates of A Better Chance, a program offering elite educational opportunities to thousands of young people of color since 1963Cose offers an invaluable portrait of contemporary America that attempts to make sense of what a people do when the dream, for some, is finally within reach as one historical era ends and another begins.Ecco, 2011
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Obama and Black Americans: the Paradox of HopeBy Gary YoungeBut for all the ways black America has felt better about itself and looked better to others, it has not actually fared better. In fact, it has been doing worse. The economic gap between black and white has grown since Obama took power. Under his tenure black unemployment, poverty and foreclosures are at their highest levels for at least a decade.
Millions of black kids may well aspire to the presidency now that a black man is in the White House. But such a trajectory is less likely for them now than it was under Bush. Herein lies what is at best a paradox and at worst a contradiction within Obamas core base of support. The very group most likely to support himblack Americansis the same group that is doing worse under him.TheNation
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By Antero Pietila
Eugenics, racial thinking, and white supremacist attitudes influenced even the federal government’s actions toward housing in the 20th century, dooming American cities to ghettoization. The Federal Housing Administration continued discriminatory housing policies even into the 1960s, long after civil rights legislation. This all-American tale is told through the prism of Baltimore, from its early suburbanization in the 1880s to the consequences of white flight after World War II, and into the first decade of the twenty-first century. The events are real, and so are the heroes and villains. Mr. Pietila’s narrative centers on the human side of residential real estate practices, whose discriminatory tools were the same everywhere: restrictive covenants, redlining, blockbusting, predatory lending.
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By James L. Conyers and Harold A. McDougall.
Through extensive neighborhood interviews and a compelling assessment of the problems of unraveling communities in urban America, Harold McDougall reveals how, in sections of Baltimore, a “New Community” is developing. Relying more on vernacular culture, personal networking, and mutual support than on private wealth or public subsidy, the communities of black Baltimore provide an example of self-help and civic action that could and should be occurring in other inner-city areas. In this political history of Old West Baltimore, McDougall describes how “base communities”small peer groups that share similar views, circumstances, and objectiveshave helped neighborhoods respond to the failure of both government and the market to create conditions for a decent quality of life for all. Arguing for the primacy of church leadership within the black community, the author describes how these small, flexible groups are creating the foundation of what he calls a New Community, where community-spirited organizers, clergy, public interest advocates, business people, and government workers interact and build relationships through which Baltimore’s urban agenda is being developed.Temple University Press, 1993
W. Edward Orser. Blockbusting in Baltimore:The Edmondson Village Story. Ethnic Studies Review. January 1, 1996. This essay seeks to make a comparative review of two books: 1) Black Baltimore: A New Theory of Community; and 2) W. Edward Orser’s, Blockbusting in Baltimore:The Edmondson Village Story. The method of procedure used in this review essay will describe and evaluate the organizational structure of the books in a three-fold manner: 1) summary of the texts; 2) use of oral history in the texts; and 3) contribution of books to oral history literature and conclusion, drawing upon common themes between the two books. Encyclopedia.com
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By W. Edward Orser
A valuable contribution to urban history and to the history of race relations in the United States.Journal of Southern History
Has deftly revealed the social frag
ility of an apparently ‘stable’ white community. American Historical Review
Like many suburbs, Edmondson Village, a post-WWI rowhouse development with 20,000 residents, saw a dramatic shift in its population between 1955 and 1965. Behind this change lay blockbusting techniques adopted by realtors in which scare tactics were used to encourage white owners to sell cheap, followed by drastic markups for potential black buyers who lacked access to conventional bank mortgages. 15 illustrationsThe University Press of Kentucky, 1997
The book Blockbusting in Baltimore: The Edmondson Village Story by American Studies professor W. Edward Orser (The University Press of Kentucky, 1994) tells the story of the racial succession and white flight that occurred in Edmondson as a result of the real estate sales process of blockbusting between 1955 and 1965. According to The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood, it was not uncommon at this time for neighborhoods within Edmondson to shift from 100% White to 100% Black in a span less than one year. In 1968, particularly the section along Edmondson Avenue east of Gwynns Falls was one of the worst hit areas during the Baltimore riot of 1968 following the death of Martin Luther King Jr.Wikipedia
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By Marshall “Eddie” Conway and Dominque Stevenson; Introduction by Mumia Abu-Jamal
In 1970, the feds framed Eddie Conway for the murder of a Baltimore City Police officer. He was 24 years old. They threw him in prison, took him away from his family, his friends, and his organizing, and tried to relegate him to a life marked by nothing but legal appeals, riots and lockdowns, transfers from one penal colony to the next. But they failed.Forty years later, still incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit, Eddie Conway continues to resist. Marshall Law is a poignant story of strength and struggle. From his childhood in inner-city Baltimore to his political awakening in the military, from the rise of the Black Panther Party to the sham trial, the realities of prison life, escape attempts, labor organizing on the inside, and beyond, Eddie’s autobiography is a reminder that we all share the responsibility of resistance, no matter where we are. It also brings to light important details about the FBI’s infiltration of the Black Panther Party.
As Eddie makes clear, the FBI had already placed agents deep inside the Panthers’ leadership well before Stokely Carmichael‘s group in Canada was infiltrated, long before the brutal murder of Fred Hampton. It’s all here . . . and much, much more.
posted 11 June 2011