The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., will begin its annual winter speaker series on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and continue on select Wednesdays through March 17. All sessions will be held virtually, and advance registration is required.
How do we remember the past? How does our historical record and memory influence us today? This year’s winter speaker series, titled “Lest We Forget: History, Memory, and an Inclusive Future,” unpacks stories of Chesapeake history with a focus on what our understanding of the past means for our future.
The speaker series kicks off on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 7:30pm with “Loyalty on the Line: Civil War Maryland in American Memory.” The controversy surrounding the monuments and memory of Maryland’s Civil War legacy is not new. During the American Civil War, Maryland did not join the Confederacy but nonetheless possessed divided loyalties and sentiments. In this session, Snow College Assistant Professor David Graham will examine the place of Maryland in Civil War memory, and how that legacy has hinged on interpretations of the state’s loyalty.
“Archaeology and Memory at Mount Clare” is scheduled for7:30pm on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Slavery was a fact of life at Mount Clare, an 18th century antebellum plantation near Baltimore, Md. Despite efforts to ignore the presence and significance of enslaved Blacks there, historical and archeological research shows the integral role they played. National Park Service Archeologist Teresa Moyer will share this research, which offers opportunities to discuss historical structures and the ways they carry to the present.
At 2pm on Wednesday, Feb. 17, CBMM will present “Stolen: The Reverse Underground Railroad and Slavery in the Greater Chesapeake.” In retelling the story of five young, free Black boys kidnapped in 1825, University of Maryland Professor Richard Bell illuminates the Reverse Underground Railroad, a network of human traffickers and slave traders who stole away thousands of legally free African American people from their families in order to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War.
Baltimore, one of the South’s largest cities, was a crucible of segregationist laws and practices. In “The Struggle and the Urban South: The Legacy of Confronting Jim Crow in Baltimore,” at 7:30pm on Wednesday, March 10, Morgan State University Associate Professor David Taft Terry will explore the historical importance of African American resistance to Jim Crow culture in the South’s largest cities after World War II. This resistance, he argues, drew from the older protest traditions, and would ultimately inspire a national civil rights movement of the 1960s.
The final offering in the series, “The 1856 Project: Confronting the Ongoing Legacy of Slavery at the University of Maryland,” will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, March 17. The University of Maryland has recently established the 1856 Project, joining the Universities Studying Slavery consortium to facilitate collaborative research and academic scholarship. In this session, institutional co-leads Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, University Archivist, and Joni Floyd, Libraries Curator for Maryland and Historical Collections, will discuss how this initiative will create a path toward restorative history, allowing for the institution to engage in the work of moral accountability and reconciliation.
The cost per session is $7.50 per person, or $6 for CBMM members, who are offered a 20% discount on all programming. Register online for all five sessions for an additional discount. To sign up, or for more information, visit cbmm.org/speakerseries.