African American Heritage Projects

NEW! Crossroads & Culture: African American Heritage Brochure

HM’s new African American Heritage Brochure offers a wide-ranging look at Montgomery County’s rich African American heritage and is a guide to the unique historic sites countywide that tell these stories.

African American Heritage Brochure

African American Heritage Tour

The history of African Americans in Montgomery County dates back to the late 1600s. But it was after the Civil War and emancipation in 1864 that the county saw more widespread establishment of free Black communities. Today, their legacy can be seen in the remains of houses and churches, schools, mills, fields, and waterways – places where people lived, worked, and prayed, fished, farmed, and raised families. This self-guided tour offers stories of home and community life as well as the experiences of African Americans during times of restriction and segregation.

Visit our Tours page to download a copy of the tour and begin exploring this important part of Montgomery County history.

African American Heritage Self-Guided Tour

This self-guided tour offers stories of home and community life as well as experiences of African Americans interfacing with large institutions during times of restriction an desegregation — all while pursuing the promise of freedom. The sites are organized geographically rather than in chronological order of their histories.

Archiving Project

Heritage Montgomery received a county Historic Preservation Grant to catalog, digitize, stabilize, and protect historic documents and photographs in the collections of local African American church communities. Working with Maryland State Archives (MSA), HM developed protocols that are being used locally and can be applied to similar projects across the State and nation. Pleasant View and Warren historic sites served as initial test cases.

In June 2016, HM conducted an intake session of materials from Pleasant View. Under the supervision of HM and MSA staff, HM’s Montgomery College intern cataloged and digitized the collection. When the work was complete, the original records along with a digitized copy were returned to Pleasant View and MSA retained a digitized copy for their collection.

History Day Prizes

Heritage Montgomery sponsors special prizes for research and interpretation of African American heritage as part of Montgomery County Public School’s annual History Day competition.

Boundary Amendment

In 2018, HM submitted to the State and had approved a boundary amendment that specifically includes a number of county African American heritage sites. Already valuable Heritage Montgomery partners, now that they are identified as physically located in the Montgomery County heritage area, they are eligible to apply for Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) capital and project grants.

Loving Charity Hall

HM has worked closely with the Warren Historic Site Committee to identify funding and shepherd the restoration of the 1914 Loving Charity Hall to completion. Loving Charity is one of the three anchor buildings (church, school, and benefit society lodge) of the original Warren community.