Things to Do In Montgomery County Blog

Black History Month Events

The month of February is dedicated to remembering the contributions of African Americans in the United States with numerous events and cultural programs. Here are some special events in Montgomery County, Maryland highlighting and recognize the history of Black Americans during Black History Month.

Please check back often as more events are added. 

Free Guided Tours at Josiah Henson Park

Saturday, February 1,8,15,22
“A Walk in Father Henson’s Footsteps”
Noon – 4:00 pm | Last tour begins 3:00 pm

Retrace the footsteps of Reverend Josiah Henson from his enslavement to escape on the
Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. Walk the grounds where Henson toiled as a slave on the Isaac Riley plantation. Learn about his extraordinary life, which inspired Harriet Beecher
Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Saturday, February 22
Spoken Word Poetry Event
“Lyrical Rhythms: The Sound of Freedom”
3:00 – 4:00 pm | Free Admission
Close out our Black History Month celebration with our annual poetry event. Create and share your own “sounds of freedom” in the form of original poetry. Only self-guided tours are off¬ered during the program. A reception with light refreshments immediately follows.

HistoryInTheParks.org | Parking for Josiah Henson Park events is available ONLY at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Blvd., North Bethesda.

 

Jim Crow Streetcars at The Capital Trolley Museum

In recognition of Black History Month, the Museum presents its temporary exhibit, Jim Crow on Streetcars. Learn about the nature of segregation aboard the cars in 19th century New York, efforts to block the practice as it developed across the South, and eventual success in opening employment opportunities.

Visit Street Car Hall and take a ride on the street car. The National Capital Trolley Museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12noon to 5pm.

On Saturday, February 21 at 1:30 PM, Eric Madison presents Jim Crow Practices on Streetcars, a story of the varied regulation of and opposition efforts to racial segregation on transit.

 

Self Guided Tours on the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad Experience Trail is part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program.

This 2.0 mile trail is natural surface and includes interpretive sign markers keyed to the trail map that may be downloaded from this site. Trail stops include Woodlawn Manor and the Stone Barn and the Sandy Spring itself. One half-mile north of the spring is a 300 year-old Champion White Ash tree.

Imagine, “The time is the 1850s. The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, have helped make Sandy Spring a prosperous farming and commercial center. The Friends Meeting House, built in 1817, is the center of religious and community life. Even though slavery will not be abolished in Maryland until 1864, Maryland Quakers outlawed the owning of slaves by its members in 1777. In Sandy Spring, free blacks own their own homes and have organized churches, schools, and an array of social clubs although such public gatherings are extremely dangerous in this anti-abolitionist county. Local patrols and slave catchers stalk the fields and woods. Quakers and free blacks assist escaping slaves via the secret “Underground Railroad”— a system of people and places organized to help slaves escape to freedom. Now you must travel through woods and skirt the edges of farm fields to safely reach the Sandy Spring itself. Can you do it? – trail map.”

3 thoughts on “Black History Month Events

  1. Susan Belford +

    Hi Karla,
    I am a reporter for the Potomac Almanac and would like to write about the Underground Railroad in Montgomery County, MD. Will you have the guided tour this Saturday at 1:00? I would also love to talk with someone about this, if possible. Could you direct me to someone to speak with.
    Thanks,
    Susan Belford

    • Karla Saravia +

      Hello Susan,
      We reached out to our contact at Montgomery Parks and they will reach out to you soon about a guided tour. Please let me know if you have any more questions or need more information!
      -Karla Saravia

    • Mike Greenhut +

      Hi, Susan,

      I was doing some research on black churches in the Sandy Spring area and I came upon your posting/question about the Underground Railway.

      A good contact would be Tony Cohen of the Menare Foundation. I don’t have any contact info for Tony. He himself would make for an excellent interview. Ask him about Oprah and the movie BELOVED.

      Good Luck,

      Mike

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