African-American History & Culture
Culture shapes lives.
“There were no African Americans before the Transatlantic Slave Trade. A new culture emerged out of the trauma of that history and through traditions made and remade on new shores. This self-creation is everywhere in the day-to- day lives of African Americans. It’s in the food eaten, the languages spoken, the art created, and many other forms of cultural expression. Held within and passed through families and communities, African American culture reflects beliefs, informs behavior, fosters creativity, and most of all, sustains the spirit during times of overwhelming adversity.” – National Museum of African-American History & Culture
Jarena Lee (1783-1849) was the first female preacher of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. She left her Philadelphia home in 1824 to visit Baltimore then travel and preach throughout the the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her autobiography, The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee, contains many references to people and places in Caroline and other Mid-Shore Counties, including many of the earliest Black Churches.
Meet Six Strong Black Women who were “First Ever”: Jarena Lee, Lucretia Kennard Daniels, Dr. Enolia P. McMillan, Gloria Richardson Dandridge, Edythe M. Jolley, Addie Clash Travers.
“You know the feelings of the white people here in Delaware.
Are you ready to die?”
I said, None of these things move me.
I never was so inspired to speak since the day I was born.
And news went back to Caroline,
that I was shot and killed.
I walked 16 miles from Easton to my father’s. I knocked at the door and said, “Who lives here?” Father answered by saying, “Who is that?” I said, “Me.”
Then mother said, “That’s Alexander”– showing a mother never forgets her child.
This month, we complete our four-year survey of historic schools in Caroline County, 1820-1960.
We re-discovered 23 segregated black schools built since the 1870s.
Eight black schools are still there.
Find out how Hubbard and Leverton with worked with Harriet Tubman and others to move freedom seekers through Caroline County to safety.
In observance of Black History Month, we’re publishing Tuckahoe, a cycle of poems which beckon us to learn more about Frederick Douglass’s life and times – and to Stand in the Place.
You might not see them from the road. You have to stop and get out. Walk around for a closer look. Crypts floating to the surface.
This is St. Paul AME Church. It’s one of dozens of segregated black churches that organized in Caroline County and throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland after 1865.