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date: 10 August 2020


  • Thomas E. Carney


From 1896 to the early twenty-first century, African Americans in Baltimore, Maryland, faced many of the same challenges as other African Americans throughout the United States. Nevertheless, African American Baltimoreans coalesced into a strong, vibrant community that beat down much of the bigotry and racial prejudice that surrounded them.

In the final decade of the nineteenth century, the city of Baltimore was an unusual combination of northern industrial interests and southern (often bigoted) traditions. African Americans made up 15 percent of the population of the city in 1890, and they made their presence felt. In 1890, Harry Sythe Cummings, a black who graduated from the Maryland Law School before segregation denied entry to African Americans, was elected councilman from the Eleventh Ward. He was followed in 1895 by Dr. J. Marcus Cargill, who was also elected to city council.

The African American community was led by ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.

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