The Black History Program at Abraham Hall (Prince George’s County MD)

BHP at AHI spent time talking to Artura Jackson, M.A. She’s a Museum / Program Assistant with the Black History Program at Abraham Hall (BHP@AH). The program falls under the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The Department of Parks and Recreation for Prince George’s County, MD manage the program.

The program has one full-time Manager (Dennis A. Doster, Ph.D.) and two part-time staff (Artura Jackson, M.A. and Ehren Vance).

The Black History Program started in 1982 and restoring Abraham Hall was one of its first projects. The staff manages three black heritage sites today; Abraham Hall in Beltsville MD, Dorsey Chapel in Glenn Dale MD, and the newly acquired Ridgeley Rosenwald School in Capital Heights MD. This is in addition to hosting year-round black history events. Abraham Hall has served as the permanent office for the program since 2008.

First Tuesdays – BHP@AH hosts an event each month on the first Tuesday. It can be a course, a presentation, discussion, etc. It’s not all history. The events are free and no pre-registration is required. Join the program’s mailing list (blackhistory@pgparks.com) to get the details each month.

BHP@AH works with other organizations to host a Juneteenth Festival (June 2018) and black history activities during Black History Month (February 2019).

Are you a black history buff? BHP@AH is looking for volunteers. Give them a call (240-264-3415).

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

A Visit to Abraham Hall (Beltsville, MD)

20180325_172814729_iOSAbraham Hall is an African American heritage site in Prince George’s County. It was built in 1889 by the Benevolent Sons and Daughters of Abraham (BS&DA). The hall is located in the historic African American community of Rossville. Rossville is part of Beltsville, MD in Prince George’s County.

It was built as a community center for Rossville and a lodge for BS&DA. Over the years it has served as a Methodist church and a temporary schoolhouse. Today it’s an office for a black history program in Prince George’s County. Visitors are welcome to stop by to see the hall, learn about the historic community, and get engaged in the growing number of programs being developed by the staff at the center.

The hall looks like a large house from a distance. But you quickly realize something is different when you see it has a small parking lot covering two sides of the building. Get a little closer and you notice the information markers displayed along the walkway in front.

A sign points the way to the hall. The turn onto Old Muirkirk Road may be a little confusing at first. A two-lane road full of pick-up trucks and trailers. The road so small only one car can pass at a time at some points. Before you know it, you see the second sign for Abraham Hall and you’re there.

As of this post, the center has a full-time Director and two part-time staff. They manage the hall, two other historic sites, and the Black History Program. This is a great place to visit for African American history and programs in Prince George’s County, Maryland

Abraham Hall, 7612 Old Muirkirk Road, Beltsville, MD (Prince George’s County) | 240-264-3415 | free parking | free admission | Open Weekdays | Website | Call for hours, event schedule, workshops and volunteer opportunities.

See my first post – Abraham Hall in Photos (Beltsville, MD)

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

2017 Blogging Goals

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Deerfield Beach, Florida.

I was laying on a beach in Florida last week. Water lapping up around me. Sun shining in my eyes. My wife and I drove down there just before the DMV had that snowstorm. I saw pictures of it on Facebook … as my feet played in the sand. We had a little wind a couple days but no snow!

This vacation was perfect timing for me. It’s January, the start of a new year. I’m away from the hustle and bustle. A break from the fog of thinking that comes with my daily routine of work and chores. A chance to let it all go and think about something different (or nothing at all) for a few days. Now the main benefit of this vacation.

dreamstime_xs_80367599-2017-goalsFirst, you should know that 2016 was a crappy year for me. I just need to be honest about that! I won’t go into details but let’s just say I was happy to see that year end. The vacation was a chance to do a mental re-charge and then a mental reset. It’s GAME ON for 2017! The last couple days of the vacation were about playing in the ocean by day and wiping out the flip chart at night. I have a new plan and a new set of goals. Here are my blogging goals for 2017:

Get a camera and learn how to use it – I’ve been using my iPhone for photos. I realize I need to up my game on photos. I’m buying a camera and I’ve signed up for some online classes on Skillshare.com.

Learn to produce video – I can record video on my iPhone and on the camera. It’s learning to produce a good video that will make a big difference for my blog and social media. I’ll have to use baby steps on this one but I want to be posting high quality video content by the end of 2017.

Network with fellow bloggers – I hear this on the Dave Ramsey Show all the time. It’s a quote from motivational speaker Charlie Jones. He said, “You’re the same today as you will be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” I already read books and listen to podcasts. It’s time to meet people beyond groups on Facebook. I will attend at least three blogger, travel writer or social media conferences / meetups this year.

Start interviewing – I’ve been writing posts about places and things but not people. I need to talk to people to tell better stories. (Baby steps here as well.) I will do a post incorporating interviews at least once a quarter for 2017. This will force me to become a better writer.

I’m printing this out and pinning it to my wall as a reminder of my goals. 2017 will be about becoming a better writer and creating better content. 2018 will be about making more money!

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!