This year, the Maryland Commission for African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a year-long campaign of events and exhibitions. As a part of this celebration, the commission will host the We Rise! Gala on November 2. It is the culminating event of the “We Rise! Preserving Maryland’s African American Heritage” campaign.
In 1969, the MCAAHC was founded by Maryland Senator Verda Freeman Welcome and historian Dr. Benjamin Arthur Quarles. The MCAAHC was one of the first state commissions dedicated to preserving African American history in the country. In 1984, the commission opened the Banneker-Douglass Museum in a former church in Annapolis.
“The work of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture has kept African American history and culture in Maryland alive and thriving. Through our work toward preserving historic sites, outreach services and operating the state’s museum on African American history, we aim to educate and empower communities throughout our state,” said Chanel Compton, Executive Director, Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and the Banneker-Douglass Museum.
The annual gala raises funding for both the commission and the Banneker-Douglass Museum. Other sources of funding come from the Banneker-Douglass Museum’s operations and a $1 million African American Heritage Preservation Grant provided by the state. This year’s event features Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets, exhibits, music and food. We Rise! Award winners will also be recognized.
The We Rise! November 2 gala takes place from 6-11 p.m. at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin St., Annapolis, Md., 21401.
To learn more about the Maryland Commission for African American History, the Banneker-Douglass Museum or for information on the We Rise! Gala, visit the website.
By Zoe Adams, GBC