Black History: African-Americans in MoCo After the Civil War

The following comes from PLACES from the PAST: The Tradition of Gardez Bien in Montgomery County, Maryland by Clare Lise Kelly (M-NCPPC)

Part 1 available here: Black History: African-Americans in MoCo Before the Civil War)

In 1870, the black population made up 36% of the total county population. After emancipation, many African-Americans were able to buy land from or were given land by white plantation owners, often their previous enslavers.

Free Blacks transformed fields and scrubland into intensively developed settlements of agricultural homesteads. Over 40 African-American communities have been identified in Montgomery County. Communities that are represented today by standing historic structures include, in the Poolesville area, Sugarland, Jerusalem, the Boyds settlement and the Martinsburg settlement; in the Potomac area, Tobytown, Pleasant View, Scotland, Gibson Grove, and Poplar Grove; Mt. Zion and the Sandy Spring settlement in the Olney area; Good Hope and Smithville, in the Eastern region; and Hawkins Lane, near Rock Creek.

The first community building constructed by residents was typically a church, often also used as a school and social meeting hall until other structures were built. A noteworthy complex of community buildings is found in Martinsburg, near Poolesville. Still standing are the Warren Methodist Episcopal Church (1903), Martinsburg School (1886), and the Loving Charity Hall (1914). The hall was the headquarters for a benefit society that provided health and burial services for families at a time when insurance companies did not allow coverage for black citizens.

Families built their own houses that typically had two rooms up and two rooms down. In the first years after emancipation, most houses were built of log. By the 1880s, blacks began to build frame houses, which ranged from simple one or two room structures to two story dwellings with two rooms on each level. While several community buildings from African- American settlements have been preserved, few houses built by free blacks have survived. Among the remaining examples are the John Henry Wims House (c1885) at 23311 Frederick Road, in the Clarksburg Historic District, and the Diggens House (c1870s-90s), 19701 White Grounds Road, in the Boyds Historic District.34

Quakers supported one of the earliest schools for black children, held in the Sharp Street Church about 1864. Sandy Spring area Quakers financed the school and supplied teachers from the nearby Friends’ school at Fair Hill. Public schools were not available to black children until after 1872.

African-American Education in Rockville Part 1

African-American Education in Rockville Part 2

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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