Black History in the Heart of the Chesapeake

Visit Dorchester County to explore African-American history, culture and heritage

Travel back in time in Dorchester County Maryland this February to meet the pioneers, patriots and freedom fighters who changed the course of history. Renowned as the birthplace of Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, and home of civil rights icon Gloria Richardson, Dorchester’s cultural tapestry has been inspired by generations of African-American leaders, enslaved people and citizens from every walk of life.

Explore Dorchester’s African-American heritage at dozens of historic sites, attraction, and special events. Experience stories of hope and redemption along our Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway driving tour, or tie up your walking shoes to see where civil rights history was made.

Come for the day – or for the weekend – and prepare to be inspired! Stop by the Dorchester Visitor Center overlooking the Choptank River to start your journey.

While you’re here, check out our newest Chesapeake Country mural celebrating Dorchester’s vibrant African American community and accomplishments. Don’t forget to snap a photo and tag us on Instagram @VisitDorchester.

Browse VisitDorchester.org for more on Dorchester and African-American history.

African American Heritage Mural in Cambridge, MD featuring Harriet Tubman

Black History Month Highlights

Tubman Travel Package

Enjoy discounted rates and exclusive perks with our Tubman Travel Package. For a limited time, local businesses are offering discounted rates and exclusive perks only to Tubman travelers. Get $100 worth of vouchers to use as you choose for select dining, outdoor adventures, tours, and shopping.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park & Visitor Center

Opened in March 2017, the visitor center offers a way to discover Tubman’s early years in the region and her role in the Underground Railroad. Gain insight into Tubman’s legacy as a leader, liberator and humanitarian. Enjoy family-friendly programming every weekend in February. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Learn more.

Driving, Walking & Guided Tours

Explore one of two self-guided driving or walking tours this month. Download the map or audio guide for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway or lace up your shoes for the 2-mile Pine Street Walking Tour. Stop by the Dorchester Visitor Center for information and maps. You can also join a guided tour about Harriet Tubman.

Museums & Historic Sites

Visit one of Dorchester’s signature cultural attractions to discover our many black history stories. From the Bucktown General Store and Stanley Institute to Pine Street, the Heritage Museums and Gardens of Dorchester, and the Harriet Tubman Museum, our county’s cultural sites are as rich and varied as the people who built them. Learn more.

Special Events

Experience black history, art, and culture throughout February at more than two dozen events in Dorchester County. Events include films, lectures, poetry readings, performances, guided tours, and more. See below:


Black History Month Special Events

Friday, Feb 2 – 7-9pm
Film: Carmen Jones
1954 musical starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte.
Dorchester County Historical Society
1003 Greenway Drive, Cambridge, MD
$10/person includes refreshments

Saturday, Feb 3 – 10am-1pm
Black History Month Health & Wellness Series, “Mental & Physical Health”
Presented by Harvesting Hope
Empowerment Center
615B Pine Street, Cambridge, MD
Free

Fridays, Feb 2, 9, 16 and 23 – 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm
Introduction to the Tubman Visitor Center
Enjoy a ranger-led introduction and learn about the symbolism of the park and Visitor Center.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center
4068 Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, MD
Free

Saturdays, Feb 3, 10, and 24 – 11am
Conversations with a Ranger
Learn why Araminta Ross changed her name to Harriet Tubman and what skills made her a successful Underground Railroad conductor.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center
4068 Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, MD
Free

Saturdays, Feb 3, 10, and 24 – 2 p.m.
William Still: An Underground Railroad Operator and his Passengers
William Still was a secretary at the Vigilance Committee of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Learn about his personal history, the passengers he assisted in Philadelphia, and why this is such a vital record.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center
4068 Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, MD
Free

Sundays, Feb 4 and 18 – 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Guided Tours, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center
Enjoy a guided tour of the exhibit hall and gain a deeper understanding of Tubman’s formative years.
4068 Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, MD
Free

Sundays, Feb 4 and 18 – 1-2pm 
The Eastern Shore of Maryland and the Underground Railroad
Learn about the landscape of the Eastern Shore of Maryland and how it was an integral part of the Underground Railroad for Freedom seekers.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center
4068 Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, MD
Free

Friday, Feb 9 – 7-9pm
Film: “Their Eyes Were Watching God”
Based on Zora Neale Hurston’s novel of the same name, the film stars Halle Barre
Dorchester County Historical Society
1003 Greenway Drive, Cambridge, MD
$10/person includes refreshments

Saturday, Feb 10 – 2-4:30pm 
Gloria Richardson Day 2018 Luncheon
Celebrate the legacy and leadership of Gloria Richardson, a Cambridge civil rights leader, at this second annual event honoring Ray Washington of the Maple Elementary Marching Band and featuring remarks by Dale Green, Asst. Prof. of Architecture at Morgan State University.
Dorchester Center for the Arts
321 High Street, Cambridge, MD
$30/person

Saturday, Feb 10 – 10am-1pm
Black History Month Health & Wellness Series, “Legal, Housing, Insurance & Finances”
Presented by Harvesting Hope
Empowerment Center
615B Pine Street, Cambridge, MD
Free

Saturday, Feb 10 – 1-3pm
“Build a Tree: Genealogy Basics”
Two-hour workshop African Americans face when doing family research. Attendees will be taught basics and some tips for filling out pedigree charts and more.
Dorchester County Historical Society
1003 Greenway Drive, Cambridge, MD
$10/person

Friday, Feb 16 – 7:30-10:30pm
Write and Rhymed Poetry Open Mic Night
Poetry, spoken word and performances highlighting African American history and thought with poets Jo Wordsmith, Lisa Lips and Diana Thompson and DJ Eyeconic.
Dorchester County Historical Society
1003 Greenway Drive, Cambridge, MD
$10/person

Saturday, February 17 – 10am-1pm
Black History Month Health & Wellness Series, Entrepreneurship
Presented by Harvesting Hope.
Empowerment Center
615B Pine Street, Cambridge, MD
Free

Friday, Feb 23 – 7-8:30pm 
“From Banneker to Tubman to Burroughs”
Hear Professor Tarik Oduno share his research.
Dorchester County Historical Society
1003 Greenway Drive, Cambridge, MD
$10/person

Saturday, Feb 24 – 10am-1pm 
Black History Month Health & Wellness Series
Youth Career and College Readiness Expo
Presented by Harvesting Hope
Empowerment Center
615B Pine Street, Cambridge, MD
Free

Saturday, Feb 24 – 8pm-Midnight
Black Excellence Gala
Sponsored by Harvesting Hope
Dorchester Center for the Arts
321 High Street, Cambridge, MD
$25/person

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2018-02-01T13:30:15+00:00