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It’s More Than History! Lecture Series

Join us at historic City Hall to learn about Baltimore's history and its personalities!

Each spring, the Baltimore National Heritage Area, in cooperation with the Office of the Mayor, brings noted historians and performers to City Hall to share stories of the Baltimore experience. 

Baltimore City Hall
100 N. Holliday Street
Board of Estimates Room (Second Floor)

The lectures begin at noon and end around 1 pm. Feel free to bring lunch. Photo ID is necessary to enter Baltimore City Hall.

In commemoration of Black History Month, the February lecture series honors Baltimore’s African American community and its contributions to social justice and civil rights.



Devin Allen: Photographer and Artist

In the aftermath of the April 2015 riots, the photographs of Devin Allen graced the cover of Time, capturing the attention of the nation. This milestone made Allen the third amateur photographer represented on the magazine’s cover. Join Allen as he shares his work covering social justice issues across the city through his first solo show, Devin Allen: Awakenings, In a New Light, currently on display at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. 

Presenter: A native of Baltimore, Devin Allen began working in the arts community as a poet and switched to photography after the birth of his daughter.  As a social activist he has covered numerous protests and marches in the greater Baltimore community.  

Lecture Sponsor: Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture



Baltimore's Brick and Mortar Civil Rights Legacy

Baltimore has a rich civil rights legacy, dating to its earliest days with the 1789 establishment of the Baltimore Abolitionist Society. Baltimore Heritage, the city’s preservation advocacy organization, is leading an effort to document the places and people in Baltimore City that were on the forefront of civil rights. In partnership with the Maryland Historical Trust, the Baltimore National Heritage Area, and the Baltimore City Public School System, the project is documenting, promoting, and protecting historic places, including the law office where Clarence Mitchell, Jr. led the NAACP’s national lobbying and the home of the city’s first African American councilman. Learn about the city’s civil rights legacy and the historic places that are central to this important part of Baltimore’s history.  

Presenter: Eli Pousson started his work with Baltimore Heritage in 2009 as a field officer in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Prior to moving to Baltimore, Eli worked for the D.C. Office of Historic Preservation and completed graduate work in anthropology and historic preservation at the University of Maryland College Park. Eli continues to work with the Lakeland Community Heritage Project and other heritage organizations in Prince George’s County.

Lecture Sponsor: Baltimore Heritage



The Power of One: The Life and Work of Sadie Jacobs Crockin and Other Activists in the Role of Women’s Voting Rights Movement

Learn about the historic -- and dramatic -- roles that women have played in their fight to get the vote. Sadie Jacobs Crockin was a key figure in Baltimore’s Jewish community and in the women’s rights movement of the early 1900s. She led the Baltimore chapters of the League of Women Voters and Hadassah, achieving prominence as a tireless organizer and social reformer.

Presenter: Roberta Sharper is a member of the League of Women Voters of Maryland's board and is appointed to the Governor's Commission for the Commemoration of the Adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment. Roberta is a retired Baltimore City Public Schools biology teacher and was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 1987 and Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1989. She won an African American Lutheran Award in 2000 and a Humanitarian Award from Roots of Scouting in 2005. She has worked with the Lutheran World Relief in East Africa and was a People to People Ambassador to China in 2007.

Lecture Sponsors: The Jewish Museum of Maryland, The League of Women Voters of Maryland, and the Governor’s Commission for the Commemoration of the Adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment.



Baltimore’s Irish and the Building of America’s First Railroad

In 1827 Baltimore was America’s third largest city and had enjoyed dominating the East Coast's shipping and transportation for decades. But the city domination was slipping -- what was city leadership to do? Build the nation's first railroad! Why were the Irish the right workforce to make this crazy plan work in a city dominated by African American labor? Learn more about the start of the B&O Railroad in this lively presentation, followed by a Q&A session. 

Presenter: Luke F. McCusker is a Baltimore native, graduating from the University of Baltimore witha degree in history. His passion for local and state history has grown during work experiences at the Historical Society of Baltimore County, the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Maryland Department, and through an internship with the Maryland State Archives. McCusker, a docent and published author with the Maryland Historical Society, became Managing Director of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum in 2013.

Lecture Sponsor: Irish Railroad Workers Museum



Francis Asbury: The Great Awakening of American Methodism

Even 200 years after his death, the achievements of Bishop Francis Asbury are felt in the Methodist Church. Asbury became bishop at the 1784 Christmas Conference at Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore, by which the Methodist Societies became a denomination, declaring their independence from the Church of England.

Asbury would lead the Methodist Church for over 30 years and through a “Great Awakening” that made it the largest American Protestant denomination of its time. His story relates to the foundations of the African Methodist Episcopal and AME Zion denominations, as well as the United Methodist Church of today.

In his travels of 6,000 miles annually, he earned the title “Prophet of the Long Road.” Yet Baltimore was the center of his ministry. When he died in 1816, his remains were returned to the city where an immense funeral procession took place; 20,000 onlookers lined the route.

Presenter: Archivist Robert Shindle of the Museum at Lovely Lane Church will speak on Asbury’s life and work on this bicentennial of his death.


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