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Upcoming Lectures:

Smithsonian Environment Research Center
"Black Watermen of the Chesapeake"

July 20, 2021

The Chesapeake Bay region is a significant setting in African American history. The region was a gateway for the first blacks brought from Africa to the colonies. Throughout the mid-1800s, the Bay and its rivers were important pathways along the Underground Railroad.


Harriet Tubman Day is an American holiday in honor of the anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman, observed on March 10 in the whole country, and in the U.S. states of New York and Maryland both of which have national parks named in her honor.

The BOC have been working with the Harriet Tubman Organization for more than twenty-five years.  The BOC’s "Chesapeake Underground Research Project" highlights Harriet Tubman’s use of the Chesapeake Bay and its many tributaries to aid enslaved people to freedom.

Harriet Tubman Organization Annual Banquet, Cambridge, Md.
Vincent O. Leggett, Keynote Speaker
Blacks of the Chesapeake
"Oh Harriet Have You Heard?"

Educational Programs

The Blacks of the Chesapeake and the Chesapeake Ecology Center (CEC) have enjoyed a long-time relationship with Anne Arundel County Public Schools.  Leggett serves as the president of the Ecology Center's Board of Directors. Both organizations are housed on the campus of Adams Park, a 10 acre waterfront campus situated along College Creek, Annapolis.  Students, teachers and the community have benefited from the BOC's and CEC's presence.  Memorial gardens, rain gardens, bio-retention ponds and native plantings have been established. Currently, the Mary Moss Academy, an Alternative Middle School is operating on the site and both organizations are working with the school.

BOCF & Educators Connecting Research in the K-16 Classroom:  http://www.ecrcme.com/blacks-of-the-chesapeake-foundation.html

Recent event: Monarch Academy Annapolis Presentation (click to view)

The BOC's book, The Chesapeake Bay Through Ebony Eyes along with its Curriculum Guide has been used by school systems around the bay region.  Most recently the Monarch Academy in Annapolis utilized the Ebony Eyes book for historical background and perspective on a series of murals painted through the school building.  The Wicomico Public School District purchased copies of the books and guides for all of their fourth grade students.  Private schools such as the Kent School in Chestertown and the Key School in Annapolis have used the Ebony Eyes book for reading circles and to assist teachers and students in learning more about the African American Heritage on the Bay.

Arts and the Humanities

The BOC has served as historical consultants on several multimedia projects.  Dr. Joan Gaither, Fiber Artist, Maryland Institute of Art collaborated with the Blacks of the Chesapeake in the fabrication of the Black Watermen of Chesapeake Documentary Story Quilt and Steve Torriano Berry consulted with the BOC in the production of the Black Watermen of the Chesapeake Documentary Film.

Environmental Programs

Environmental Education and Conservation organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, The Living Classrooms Foundation, The Chesapeake Conservancy and the Chesapeake Bay Trust have sought out the expertise of the BOC around issues of diversity and inclusion.

Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation, Inc.
1011 Bay Ridge Ave
Annapolis, MD 21403

(410)461-2623 (BOCF)
(833)321-2623 (BOCF)
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