For many years, the history of Civil War events and people who played important roles during those embattled years fascinated me. Especially important are the African people, imported and forced into slavery during the pre-war years. We know the heritage of those who garnered fame throughout the years preceding and following the Civil War. There are others who contributed toward the rich cultural history which gradually emerged as the years passed.
Maryland, one of the border states during the 1800s, became a key state in the ever-growing conflict between the North and the South. Today we find numerous public landmarks throughout the state that tell the stories of those who worked to solve the issues facing our country during those years. Through a series of blog posts, I hope to highlight some of those landmarks, recalling the lives of those who aren’t prominent in the history books, but without whom we would not have the memorials today recalling their courageous efforts.
Recently, I came across a story about two former slave cabins that still exist in Fells Point, Baltimore, Maryland. In my attempt to find more information about these cabins, I found a treasure trove of articles related to famous African-Americans who lived in or near Baltimore in the nineteenth century.
Life-like figures of prominent African-American men and women who added to the wealth of America’s cultural history in art, music, and science fill the halls of Baltimore’s National Great Blacks in Wax Museum.
A two-mile path along Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail displays “storyboard” panels honoring jazz roots carved out by such musicians as Eubie Blake and Cab Calloway. Included in the display are panels depicting Baltimore’s role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Annapolis, the capital city of Maryland, shares in the rich heritage of Black History honoring Alex Haley, famed author of his ancestral lineage, Roots. There at Sidewalk at the head of City Dock you will see the life-size statue of Alex Haley along with a plaque dedicated to his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, who, along with other slaves brought from Africa, landed at that pier in 1767. Alex Haley immortalized Kunta Kinte through his literary talents, and sparked the interest of people to search their own family trees.
My next post will feature a few women who earned their place in history by engaging in combat in another Maryland battle of the Civil War.