This 29-day Black History Month project will highlight the contributions of local Annapolis history and the changes in society that got us to this point. Each day, we will highlight a decade, leading us from the 1740s to the present.
It’s February 2020 and this year for Black History Month, we decided to take a look at history from a local viewpoint. Each day throughout this month, we will be posting stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The idea is to give a timeline of Black History that is specific to the City of Annapolis.
This project couldn’t have come together without help and we have people to thank!
To start, we looked to resource material like Jane Wilson McWilliams’ book "Annapolis City on the Severn," available at local booksellers and online; Hannah Joplin’s "Life in a Black Community;" and The Capital newspaper, available online (with subscription). We thank all of the people involved in collecting and recording that history.
Next, we looked to local historians for help including Chris Haley at the Maryland State Archives; Janice Hayes Williams, a local historian and author; Vincent Leggett, founder, Blacks of the Chesapeake; and Elinor Thompson, author of "In the 8th Ward" and a member of the Governor’s Commission on African American History and Culture.
In the mayor’s office, William Rowel, Public Engagement and Community Relations Specialist and Senior Advisor lent expertise and assistance.
We know that we weren’t able to capture all of the significant contributors to the African American experience in Annapolis. Hopefully, we can add the names we were not able to include and continue with a project expansion in 2021.
Look for new uploads each day on social media and every seven days on this web page!
-Mitchelle Stephenson, Annapolis, Feb. 1, 2020