Discover Baltimore's African American Heritage
In Baltimore, African American history and culture weave through our city at every turn. From memorials and historic markers to art, architecture and song, we'll take your group on a journey, from a heroic past to an exciting and promising future.
Start your exploration at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, the largest African American museum on the East Coast. Follow the inspiring journey of African American Marylanders from the 17th century to the present through the museum's permanent and special exhibitions.
After lunch in Little Italy or at one of the group friendly restaurants around the Inner Harbor, make a stop at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Museum and Cultural here, the fascinating life of Baltimore-born composer and pianist Eubie Blake is commemorated in the museum's collection, while the gallery features permanent exhibitions on Baltimore jazz greats such as Billie Holiday and Cab Calloway.
Move from music to motion, with a visit to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum. You'll find a world-class collection of locomotives, artifacts and railway history along with exhibits highlighting the contributions of African Americans to the railroad industry.
From the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, sprint over to the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards. Located in historic Camden Station right next to Oriole Park, the museum features exhibits on Baltimore's two championship Negro League teams: the Baltimore Black Sox and the Baltimore Elite Giants. You'll learn more about the careers of Frank Robinson, Ray Lewis, Eddie Murray, Jackie Robinson, Lenny Moore, Leon Day and other famous African American athletes.
This evening enjoy a dinner cruise.
Start your second day with a visit to the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park. This national historic site tells the sagas of Frederick Douglass' life in Baltimore as an enslaved child and young man, and the life of Isaac Myers, a free-born African American who partnered with Douglass to found the nation's first Black-owned shipyard in the United States. Fell's Point is also the site of a historic marker for Douglass, and five historic homes built by Douglass that still stand today.
After lunch at one of the charming restaurants in Fell's Point, take a scheduled tour of the NAACP National Headquarters to see the Henry Lee Moon Library and Civil Rights Archives and the NAACP's memorial garden for writer and philanthropist Dorothy Parker.
On your drive back downtown, come by way of Pennsylvania Avenue. During the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, The Avenue - home of the Royal Theater - was a center for African American entertainment, business and culture. Efforts are now under way to revitalize Pennsylvania Avenue and the communities surrounding it. The Baltimore National Heritage Area offers walking tours of the neighborhood.
Arrange a visit to St. Frances Academy and be inspired. Established in 1828, St. Frances is the nation's oldest, historically Black educational institution. Founded by Mother Mary Lange and the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the building has served as a convent, an orphanage and a boarding school for girls. Today, St. Frances Academy leads urban American high schools in educational excellence.
This evening, enjoy a crab feast at one of Baltimore's traditional restaurants.
Begin your third day with a visit to The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, America's first and only wax museum of African American history. The museum houses more than 100 life-size wax figures of famous African Americans presented in dramatic and historical scenes. The museum's replica slave ship is one of its most emotional and talked about exhibits.
Make a stop at Baltimore's Wall of Pride, located on Carey and Cumberland Streets. This powerful urban mural memorializes heroes like Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth, Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes.
After lunch, find keys to Baltimore's past and future at the Orchard Street Church. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the building now houses the Baltimore Urban League, an organization committed to enhancing the social and economic conditions of African Americans in Baltimore.
End your day with a performance by the nation's oldest continuously operating African American community theater, the Arena Players. The company produces both classic works and contemporary plays by African American writers. Or, you can schedule a catered dinner with entertainment at one of our museums or attractions.
Extend your stay with a visit to Maryland's Eastern Shore and discover the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.
It's not too early to begin planning tours to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War or the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The centennial of Harriet Tubman's death will be commemorated in 2013 with special focus on the story of the Underground Railroad and the journey to freedom.
Plan your trip!
- The War Came By Train: American Civil War 150th Anniversary April 30, 2011 - December 31, 2015 | All Day
- Book Bindings from the Gilded Age October 27, 2013 - January 19, 2014 | 10:00am - 5:00pm
- Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War October 13, 2013 - February 28, 2014 | 8:00am - 5:00pm
- Jacob Lawrence's Genesis Series September 14, 2013 - December 8, 2013 | 10:00am - 5:00pm
- A Very Visionary Star-Spangled Sidewalk July 1, 2013 - September 1, 2014 | All Day