Black History Month is an excellent time to recognize the work of Baltimore’s rich history of organizations that explore Black heritage, nurture the area’s youth, and promote/present vibrant music, plays, and art. One such treasure is Baltimore’s Arena Players, which is distinguished as the country’s oldest, continuously operating African American community theatre in the United States.
While excitement for the new National Museum of African American History and Culturein Washington, D.C. has been tremendous, Baltimore has The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture. The Lewis is Maryland's largest museum focused on African-American history and culture.
Towering leaders of arts and business made these and other places possible. The Eubie Blake Cultural Center celebrates the legacy of the man as well as the history of jazz in Baltimore and the thriving scene on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is home to performances, a gallery, and Muse 360 Arts. And there is so much more here, organizations and individuals who contribute to the rich cultural fabric of the region including The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, Wombwork, Black Writers Guild of Maryland, Balti Gurls, Sankofa Dance Theater, along with many others. Also, The Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art both have amazing collections of African art.
You can also visit Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Catonsville. It’s a 142-acre site dedicated to telling the inspiring story of the life and times of Benjamin Banneker, an early leading African American man of science. 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. The site includes a replica of his house, and a number of beautiful hiking trails.
So let’s make a pledge to honor Black History Month locally; there is plenty to learn, see, and enjoy.