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Banneker-Douglass Museum Announces Event Line Up to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Maryland Commission for African American History and Culture

Welcomes More Than 9,000 Visitors During Year of Frederick Douglass

ANNAPOLIS, MD – In celebration of the “We Rise!“ 50th anniversary of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) and the 35th anniversary of the Banneker-Douglass Museum, the Banneker-Douglass Museum today announced the event and exhibition line up.

“We are proud to support the Banneker-Douglass Museum as we continue to honor the great legacy of dedicated Marylanders and true African American icons,” said Governor Hogan. “I want to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved in making this 50th anniversary year for the commission, and the Year of Frederick Douglass, an incredible success.”

During the year of Frederick Douglass, over 9,000 citizens visited the museum. Volunteers provided tours to more than 1,200 visitors, including more than 40 docent-guided tours with nearly 250 hours served. In addition, a new social media platform, Instagram, engaged more visitors with followers increasing by 34%.

“The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and Banneker-Douglass Museum are indebted to past and current African American pioneers dedicated to black communities,” said Chanel Compton, Director of the Banneker-Douglass Museum. “We will honor their legacy throughout the 50th anniversary year through inspiring panel discussions, workshops, events, talks, and exhibitions.”

Upcoming exhibitions and events include:

  • Laurence Hurst Anniversary Show and Songs of the Caged Bird (until June 8, 2019)
  • Deep Roots, Rising Waters: A Celebration of African Americans in Maryland (permanent)
  • Verda’s Place: An Homage to a Valiant Woman (until December 28, 2019)
  • We Rise Youth Conference  (June 28, 2019)
  • MCAAHC Legacy Symposium (June 29, 2019)
  • Doing the Work: Celebrating 50 Years of MCAAHC (August 6 – December 29, 2019)

Over the first quarter of 2019, MCAAHC and the museum collaborated with Coppin State University and Lillie Mae Carol Jackson Civil Rights Museum to explore the contributions of black scholars and Senator Verda Freeman Welcome – the first African American woman state Senator in U.S. history. The museum also celebrated Matthew Henson Day as one of the first people to reach the North Pole. Wrapping up National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation month, the museum reflected on Maryland’s connections to the jazz and poetry scenes by introducing 5 artists and recognizing the jazz history in Maryland. One featured Marylander is Ms. Lucille Clifton, the only African American among previous nine Poet Laureatesappointed throughout the history of the Maryland Poet Laureate. She has served in the position from 1979-1985 as Maryland’s third Poet Laureate.

In February, Governor Larry Hogan concluded the “Year of Frederick Douglass” with over 200 attendees. The “Year of Frederick Douglass,” which ran from February 14, 2018 – February 14, 2019, was announced last February when Governor Hogan issued a proclamation establishing the commemorative year in observation of the bicentennial of the birth of the renowned abolitionist and Maryland native.

Located in downtown Annapolis since 1984, the Banneker Douglass Museum has continued to engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds to share the rich cultural traditions and history of Maryland’s African American community through programs and exhibitions highlighting the importance of education, community, and historic preservation. The Hogan administration remains committed to the historic preservation of this museum, as well as the events and services it offers to the community. Visit and the Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more.

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