African-American Heritage

African-American history in Maryland begins in 1634 with the arrival of indentured servant Mathias de Sousa, one of the 140 settlers who first traveled here and established Maryland.

While de Sousa’s story is inspiring - he voted in the early legislature - as tobacco became the basis of Southern Maryland’s economy, slavery became entrenched.

Explore African-American Heritage Sites

Our historic sites and museums such as Sotterley Plantation, the United States Colored Troops Memorial Monument, and Drayden African-American Schoolhouse, tell the story of our rich African-American history while mirroring the larger struggles of our nation. Visit an 1830s slave cabin, a Segregation Era schoolhouse, Civil War-related sites and AME churches.

African-American History and Community, St. Mary's County

View a video produced as a student independent study project within the St. Mary's College of Maryland Theater, Film, and Media Studies Department, in conjunction with the Spring 2015 Anthropology of Tourism class.

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More African-American History in Southern Maryland

Learn more about the African-American history and hear the stories that are still being told today in Southern Maryland. Click on the link below to see a brochure of African-American Heritage sites located in Calvert County, Charles County, and St. Mary's County.

African-American Heritage Guide