Black History in the Chesapeake

Visit Dorchester County to explore African-American history, culture and heritage on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

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 various historic sites, attractions, 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. Browse VisitDorchester.org for more on Dorchester and African-American history.

 


Black History Month Highlights

Museums, Attractions & Historic Sites

Visit one of Dorchester’s signature cultural attractions to discover our many black history stories. Here are a few:

Learn more


Driving, Walking & Guided Tours

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


Special Events

Experience black history, art, and culture throughout February in Dorchester County at events including talks, performances, guided tours, and more. See below:

Black History Month Special Events

Fridays, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22 – 10am, 12pm, and 4pm
Introduction to the Harriet Tubman Visitor Center
Enjoy a ranger-led introduction and learn about the symbolism of the park and Visitor Center. Free. Find out more.

Fridays, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22 – 2pm
Film: Fighting for Freedom: Lewis Hayden and the Underground Railroadt
Watch the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom movie with Diane Miller of NTF at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center. Free. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 2 – 10am-2pm
Black History Month Health and Wellness Event
Topics include health insurance coverage, children’s mental health, stress, and diabetes. Local vendors and community agencies will be on hand. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 2, 1-3pm; Feb. 24, 1-3pm
Barbershop Talk – Breaking the Curse

A discussion between the older and younger generation. Understanding the importance of bridging the two together. Free. Hosted by Liv Again ReWork Studio. Find out more.

Saturdays, Feb. 2, 9, 16, and 23
Talks: At the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center

  • “The Park in Pictures” takes place at 11am, with Ranger Harris discussing what makes an image timeless and meaningful. Attendees should bring a camera or device with camera capabilities, creativity and a sense of humor.
  • “The Instrumentalities of War” at 1pm with Ranger Nwakudo explores the ways that wars in Africa impacted the culture and identity of those involved with the slave trade.
  • “The Songs of Enslaved People” at 2pm involves guests in learning about the songs used by Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad. Participation is not required but it is heavily encouraged.

All talks take place at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center. Free. Find out more.

Sundays, Feb. 3, 10, 17, and 24
Talks: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center

  • Story Time with Mama Mary – 11am. Exploring the concept of self-liberation through engaging storytelling and self-reflection with Ranger “Mama Mary” Dennard.
  • Important Women in Harriet Tubman’s Life (NOT offered on Feb. 17) – 3pm. Explore the lives of three influential women in Tubman’s life: her mother, the author of her first biography, and a famous women’s suffragist.

All talks take place at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center. Free. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 9, 9am-10:30am
Walking Tour: Frederick Douglass in Cambridge

The tour retraces the steps that famous abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass took during two visits to Cambridge, MD, in 1877 and 1878. The world is currently marking the bicentennial of his birth in neighboring Talbot County, Maryland. $15 per person. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 9 – 10am-12:30pm
Reflections on Pine: Book Talk with Harriet Tubman and Gloria Richardson Biographers
As part of the two-day Reflections on Pine: Strength of Our Past, Hope for Our Future event, Eastern Shore Network for Change hosts book talks with Harriet Tubman Biographer Kate Clifford Larson and Gloria Richardson Dandridge biographer Joseph Fitzgerald. Bethel AME Church, Cambridge. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 9 – 10am-2pm
Black History Month Health & Wellness Series: Be Your Own Boss
Black History Month event series. Learn about what opportunities are and resources to help you start and or grow your business. Hear from four local business owners. Free. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 9 – 1-3:30pm
Reflections on Pine: Gloria Richardson Dandridge Awards Luncheon
As part of the two-day Reflections on Pine: Strength of Our Past, Hope for Our Future event, Eastern Shore Network for Change honors 10 Cambridge, MD, citizen for their strong vision for a better world, bold leadership, and refusal to accept the status quo. $25 per person. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 9 – 3pm
Talk: “This Far By Faith: Harriet Tubman’s Spiritual Journeys to Freedom”

Harriet Tubman biographer and scholar Dr. Kate Clifford Larson speaks about Tubman’s strong faith and spiritual influences and how they can be interpreted for the 21st century. Event happens at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center. Free. Find out more.

Sunday, Feb. 10 – 2pm
Reflections on Pine: Performance by the Marching Lions
One of the country’s only elementary school marching bands hails from right here in Cambridge, MD. They will perform outside on Pine Street (weather permitting). Part of the two-day Reflections on Pine: Strength of Our Past, Hope for Our Future event. Find out more.

Sunday, Feb. 10 – 3pm
Reflections on Pine Luncheon
As part of the two-day Reflections on Pine: Strength of Our Past, Hope for Our Future event, Eastern Shore Network for Change hosts a free luncheon with keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings at Bethel AME Church in Cambridge, MD. Find out more.

Tuesday, Feb. 12 – 12-1:30pm
Talk: Plantations, Slavery & Freedom on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
Author Jacqueline Simmons Hedberg, who has family connections in Southern Dorchester County, talks about her latest book and shares stories of slave traders and abolitionists, kidnappers and freedmen, cruelty and courage. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 16 – 10am-2pm
Black History Month Health & Wellness Series, “Legal, Insurance, Financial & Housing”
Free information from local professionals on housing, legal issues, different types on insurance & taxes and finances. Cambridge, MD. Find out more.

Sunday, Feb. 17 – 1pm
Meet Harriet Tubman

Hear Harriet Tubman’s story through an interactive re-enactment by Griot Janice Curtis Greene at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center. Sing spirituals and freedom songs as you go on a historical journey. Free. Find out more.

Friday, Feb. 22 – 5-7pm (Note: This was rescheduled from Feb. 1 because of snow)
Talk: A Reflection on the Dreamer …. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Rev. Dr. John G. Moore, Sr. presents “A Reflection on the Dreamer … Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” Moore is a famed orator and King impersonator who has re-enacted King’s speeches in Maryland, Delaware, and DC. Moore’s presentation will include portions of King’s most famous speeches including “We Shall Overcome,” “I have a Dream,” “The Drum Major Instinct,” and “The Mountain Top,” King’s final speech. Moore will also talk about King’s life. Admission is free but seating is limited. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 23 – 9am
Follow the Footsteps: An American Legend – Harriet Tubman Tour

Enjoy dinner, show, and tour hosted by Harriet Tubman Tours. Tour sites include the historic Dorchester County Courthouse, Long Wharf, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, and more. Plus a full-course meal and storytelling by local historians. $50 per person. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 23 – 9am-2pm
Black History Month Youth Expo

For the whole family with info on S.T.E.A.M., parent advocacy, careers, college, etc. Plus entertainment, food, giveaways, vendors. Free. Event happens in Cambridge, MD. Find out more.

Saturday, Feb. 23 – 8pm-Midnight
Black Excellence Gala
Celebrating the heritage and culture of African Americans. Event happens in Cambridge, MD. Sponsored by Harvesting Hope Youth and Family Wellness, LLC. $50 per person. Find out more.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
2019-02-15T15:12:40-05:00