Black History

Celebration Overview

Celebrate and honor African American heritage during Black History Month in February. From performances to history lessons to tours, there are plenty of exciting events and activities planned throughout Prince George's County.

For a complete listing of department Black History Month events, please view the Celebration: Black History Month 2017 Brochure (PDF)

Get Notified

Interested in keeping up with our programs and events? Please send us your contact information by calling 240-264-3415 or emailing the Black History group at Parks and Recreation.

Special Events

Ridgeley Week

Sunday, September 17 - Saturday, September 23, 2017
The school will be open for tours from 11 am to 3 pm for the entire week.

Ridgeley Rosenwald School
8507 Central Avenue
Capitol Heights, MD 20743

Come out and celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Ridgeley Rosenwald School, a milestone in African-American education and historic preservation in Prince George's County. Built in 1927, Ridgeley School is one of 27 schools in Prince George’s County to receive assistance from the Rosenwald Fund which donated over $70 million to public schools, colleges and universities, museums, Jewish charities, and black institutions before funds were completely depleted in 1948. The segregated school served African American children living near Central Avenue until the 1950s. This week will include fun and educational activities for all ages.

Ridgeley Week Opening Reception
Sunday, September 17, 2017, 4 - 6 pm

Join us from for an afternoon lecture and discussion led by Stephanie Deutsch, author of you need a schoolhouse: Booker t. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the building of schools for the segregated south (2011). Deutsch will discuss the significance of Rosenwald schools in the African-American community. She is the wife of David Deutsch, great-grandson of Julius Rosenwald.

Uhuru Quilting Demonstration
Tuesday, September 19, 2017, noon - 2 pm

Come out and learn about the art form of quilting from members of the Uhuru quilters guild. through quilting, participants will explore the role of the industrial arts in African-American education.

Poetry and Spoken Word Open Mic Night
Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7 - 9 pm

Local poets and spoken word artists are invited to share their talents and participate in this open mic event. This evening will celebrate the role of the Julius Rosenwald Foundation in promoting the arts through its financial support of a number of African-American artists, including Langston Hughes, Marian Anderson, Zora Neale Hurston, and countless others.

Family Day
Saturday, September 23, 2017, noon - 3 pm

Celebrate the Ridgeley Rosenwald School’s 90th anniversary with a day of fun activities for all ages. Learn the rich history of African-American education in Prince George’s county. This event is sponsored by the Mildred Ridgeley-Gray Charitable Trust, Inc.

Maryland Emancipation Day: Harriet Tubman Tour

Saturday, November 4, 2017, 8 am - 6 pm
Residents: $35; Non-residents: $46

Pick-up location:
Abraham Hall
7612 Old Muirkirk Road
Beltsville, MD 20705

Visit SMARTlink, barcode #1688240, to register today!

Join us for a day trip to Maryland's Eastern Shore to tour the historic homeland of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. Araminta Ross aka Harriet Tubman was born a slave in 1822 in Dorchester County, Maryland. in 1849, Tubman escaped to freedom in Philadelphia once there, she returned to Maryland multiple times to help family members escape to freedom. Tubman would continue to liberate slaves as she worked as a cook and spy for the union army. Harriet Tubman was great liberator and her story begins in Maryland. join us as we visit some of the sites related to Harriet Tubman's life. stops will included: Harriet Tubman underground railroad national monument and national historical park, and the Bucktown Village store, and lunch on your own in downtown Cambridge, Maryland. No refunds unless trip is canceled, or unless the spot is re-sold. The trip coordinator must approve and process all refunds. Trips depend on sufficient registration. Specific registration deadlines may apply.

Black History Month Opening Exhibit & Reception
How We Got Over: A History of Black Sacred Music Traditions

For the black community, sacred music has been a source and reflection of faith, strength, hope, and love during times of both joy and tribulation. This body of music is the subject of the 2017 Black History Month exhibit, which examines a variety of African American sacred music traditions (spirituals, hymns, gospel music) from their West African roots through the 21st century.

The exhibit also highlights the important contributions made by Prince Georgians in the realm of black sacred music as vocalists, instrumentalists, composers, and more.
How We Got Over: A History of Black Sacred Music Traditions poster