Banneker-Douglass Museum

Banneker-Douglass Museum is an African-American heritage museum located at 84 Franklin Street, in Annapolis, Maryland.

The museum is named after Benjamin Banneker, the Maryland-born mathematician who helped survey and lay out the District of Columbia, and Frederick Douglass, who had escaped slavery to become a leader of the abolition movement. Banneker-Douglass Museum serves as the state’s official repository of African-American history and culture.

Banneker-Douglass Museum was originally built as the Mt. Moriah AME Church by free blacks in 1874. It was later purchased by the county in 1970 to make room for courthouse parking and expansion.

The building, with its beautiful arched windows and a gothic pitched roof, is the first African-American institution in Annapolis to be preserved for its historic value. The building gained a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

In 1999, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, celebrated 125 years of the African Methodist Episcopal movement in Maryland. The museum exhibitions, which usually run between six to eight months, are mainly historic, art-centered or both.

The museum exhibits African and African-American art, artifacts, and photographs relevant to black life in Maryland, historical documents, and rare books. Oral histories, books, video tapes, and archival materials are available for referential purpose by appointment.

The Banneker-Douglass Museum sponsors and hosts a wide variety of preservation, arts, and cultural lectures, workshops, performances, and other special programs every year. Guided exhibition tours for school classes and other groups are arranged upon request.


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