Interested In History? Come To The Banneker-Douglass Museum

Want to polish your knowledge about African American History and Culture? Well, if you are in Annapolis, Maryland, you should definitely make your way to the Banneker-Douglass Museum. Read on to find out more about this amazing museum.

Banneker-Douglass Museum Overview

The Banneker-Douglass Museum is without a doubt a crown jewel in Annapolis, Maryland. Formerly Mt. Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church, Banneker-Douglass Museum was constructed back in 1875 as a church. Back then, it served two purposes. One, it was a church executed in the Gothic Revival style. Two, it served as a meeting hall for what was back then the first African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Since then, it has undergone a number of remodelling, the major one being back in 1896, to make sure that its structure remains sound. So how and why is it a museum today? Well, it became leased to Maryland Commission on African-American History and Culture who decided to convert it to a museum. To be exact, they decided to make it the official state’s museum for African-American history and culture.

Today Banneker-Douglass Museum’s main purpose is to preserve the African American heritage in Maryland. That said, you are bound to find a number of contributions made by popular African American residents in Maryland at the Banneker-Douglass Museum. Some of the big names of Maryland’s famous African American whose contributions are at the museum include Benjamin Banneker, James Pennington, Harriet Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, Mathew Henson and Fredrick Douglass. The museum also boasts other exhibits, also on matters African American, like the black life in Maryland as well as African American art.

Events & Exhibitions

Now that you have some little knowledge on what the Banneker-Douglass Museum is all about it is now time to highlight events and exhibitions they have. In other words what you’ll be doing when you actually choose to go.  

To start off we’ll be highlighting events that the Banneker-Douglass Museum will play host to in 2020. That said Banneker-Douglass Museum is known for having a number of events on a yearly basis. Worth noting about these events is that they can and do change from time to time. That in mind, this year they do have a variety of events planned out. They are;

  • Creatives Connect: Using Art as Activism – Slated for April 4th this year from 2:00 pm till 4:00 pm, this Creatives Connect event’s main purpose is to help improve social justice in African American communities. Worth noting is that it’ll have a number of well-renowned panellists including Jabari Jefferson and Zaki Smith who’ll help push the initiative of the event even further. That said they’ll examine mass incarceration implications, policies that affect the African American communities as well as voter suppression.     
  • Creatives Connect II: Using Art as Activism – This particular event is similar to the first one. So expect most of the things that happened in the first event happening here. What might actually be different is the panellists who are there. As the case with the first event, you can always register to take part by visiting the Banneker-Douglass Museum’s official page.  
  • BDM Annual Youth Conference – On Friday, July 10th Banneker-Douglass Museum will be hosting their annual youth conference. For this particular event, the youths will be exploring the history of voting in the African American community. Worth noting is that there will be voter registration held at the event for all the youths who’ll be present.  
  • Educator Workshop: Anti-Racism Training – Notables about this particular event if you are looking at attending is that it will be held on 8th August, that’s a Saturday between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. What’s involved? Well, this event is mainly for training counsellors, teachers and educators. In particular, it focuses on how one can use art to effectively dismantle racial stereotypes. Equally important is how to use art to effectively strengthen minority communities in Annapolis, Maryland. To ensure that those taking part get the very best, the event will be led by industry leaders as well as scholars.
  • African Americans and the Vote Symposium – A number of historians, educators as well as artists will all come together at Banneker-Douglass Museum on October 24th this year to take part in an African Americans and The Vote Symposium with the main aim of exploring the history of the vote of African Americans in Maryland.
  • BDM Annual Kwanzaa Celebration – Musical performances, crafts, games and other exciting and entertaining activities are what you get when you opt to take part in this particular. Worth noting is that it’s an event to celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa and it happens on December 11th between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm.  

In addition to events, Banneker-Douglass Museum plays hosts to a number of exhibitions. This year they have two main exhibitions; these two are Temporary Exhibit and Permanent Exhibit. The Temporary Exhibit basically explores the intersection of civil rights, black voices, public art with sixteen murals that work to transform the museum’s gallery interior. The murals are painted by regional artists.

The permanent exhibit, on the other hand, provides a detailed overview of Maryland’s African American History. In fact, the overview goes all the way back to 1633 till now. So if you are keen on learning how African Americans managed to make lasting changes that helped benefit the community over the years then this is a perfect exhibit to take part in.


If you are planning on visiting the Banneker-Douglass Museum it is important that you plan ahead. Doing so basically involves checking on timing to make sure that you that you’ll be going when the event or exhibition is about to start. Equally important, especially if you are visiting Annapolis, Maryland is making sure that you check for near amenities.

In other words, get to know restaurants as well as hotels that are near the museum. Popular choices for those that visit Maryland to go to the Banneker-Douglass Museum include Kilwins and Light House Bistro for restaurants as well as Flag House Inn and Gibson’s Lodgings of Annapolis for hotels.

You can even go a step further and explore nearby attractions for those days that you want to relax and explore what else Annapolis, Maryland has to offer.    

About the Author

Liss Peñafiel