Banneker-Douglass Museum

Behind the Scenes

November 08, 1998|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To preserve and interpret African-American history and culture. Named for two eminent black Marylanders, scientist Benjamin Banneker and writer-abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the museum was established in 1984 as a project of the Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture. Housed in a converted, 124-year-old, historic structure, the former Mount

Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Annapolis museum is home to artifacts from the lives of Banneker and Douglass and other famous black Marylanders. It is also steward of historical documents and rare African-American book and art collections, including paintings by Hughie Lee-Smith.

Latest accomplishment: "Reflections of the Spirit: Continuity in African-American Spirituality," opened in April and ran through Nov. 6. The exhibit was based on a decade of archaeological research into slavery at the Charles Carroll House and Slayton House in Annapolis and other archaeological findings regarding African-Amerian presence in Colonial times.

On the horizon: The construction of a 10,000-square-foot building adjacent to the present museum structure. Scheduled to open in 2003, the new addition will offer expanded exhibition space. Opening dec. 6: "Manly Voices - Womanly Deeds," an exhibition that takes a close look at pre-civil rights activities from the death of Frederick Douglass in 1895 to the integration of Gwynn Oak Park in 1963.

About the museum: Membership: 300.

Attendance: 15,000 annually.

Operating budget: $588,000.

Where and when: 84 Franklin St., Annapolis. Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Call 410-974-2893.

Carroll H. Hynson Jr., president of the board of directors: "Maryland's African-American history and culture is rich, abundant and enlightening. We must preserve it for our children and theirs in honor of our forefathers' struggle for freedom, equality and life everlasting. This can only be done through the preservation of our artifacts and memories of the achievements of our families and experiences. Our mission is to unify this effort statewide and enhance overall African-American history and culture."

Members of the board

The Rev. Cleveland Alexander

Joyce Black

Lucenia W. Dunn

John W. Franklin

Stefan C. Goodwin

Lenneal J. Henderson Jr.

Leontyne Peck

Barbara Wells Sarudy

Pub Date: 11/08/98

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