Learning about Black history and culture is essential within and beyond Black History Month. Even while experiencing immense hardships, Black Marylanders continued to create art, attend schools, build communities, enjoy leisure time, and make important contributions to society.
Be sure to include these three Maryland museums illuminating Black history and culture in your upcoming travels:
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture—Baltimore
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, also referred to as the Lewis, is located near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The Lewis stands as the largest African American history museum in Maryland. Here, you’ll learn the history behind over 10,000 artifacts as well as the challenges and successes of African Americans from all facets of Maryland society, including government, athletics, the arts, education, industry, and more.
The museum takes you through multiple themed permanent and limited-time exhibits, a two-story theatre, and an outdoor terrace.
Find information on hours, ticket costs, and parking here.
Heading to Annapolis? Visit the free Banneker-Douglass Museum, which shares the lives and stories of African Americans in Maryland from 1633 through the present day. The museum is located within the historical Mount Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church.
In the Banneker-Douglass Museum’s permanent exhibition, you can learn about the many Black Marylanders who played significant roles in the anti-slavery and civil rights movement. One of the plaques that encompass the stories told in the Banneker-Douglass Museum states, “African Americans learned to be as fluid as the waters of the bay.” From protesting injustices in the capital to experiencing the joy of family time on the Chesapeake, you can gain insight into the many aspects of African Americans’ lives in Maryland throughout time.
Stop by the interactive exhibits to ponder thought-provoking questions and browse the book collection in the museum store to inspire continued learning.
Find information on hours and parking here.
African Art Museum of Maryland—Columbia
The African Art Museum of Maryland is itself Black history, as it’s the only African-American founded African art museum in the USA. Located in Columbia, Maryland, the AAMM has welcomed visitors for over 40 years. From baskets to paintings, textiles, masks, and sculptures, the AAMM shows the diversity of artistry across the African continent.
Your visit will broaden your understanding of different practices and ceremonies across African countries, as told by each piece’s unique carvings, materials, and symbology. Further sharing the diversity within Maryland, multiple works were donated by ambassadors and families of the African diaspora living locally. You can learn more about the art pieces from the AAMM’s Short Talks (called Short T’s), which are brief lessons on the origin and meaning behind pieces. The museum also offers interactive tours for all age groups.
Note: The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no charge for admission unless you are visiting as a group and requesting a special program. Visitors may walk through the museum on their own or request a tour. Contact the museum at 410-740-7411.