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!

A Visit to Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center (North Brentwood, MD)

20161228_165409057_iosDrive along Rhode Island Avenue in North Brentwood, MD and you will come across an island of African-American history & culture in the middle of two small industrial shopping centers. This museum & culture center stands as a testimonial to the town that was the first African-American settlement in Prince George’s County.

The full name of the center is Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center at North Brentwood, Inc but it’s listed on social media as PGAAMCC. The 10,000 square foot center has a permanent exhibition room and rotating exhibitions around the space and along hallways. Quotes from art students are positioned throughout. A very friendly staff is available to answer questions and give you information.

The center is a community meeting space and has several programs covering all ages. An upcoming program is the New Year First Friday on January 6, 2017, from 6 pm to 9 pm. Enjoy live music, food trucks and complimentary cocktails. It’s an opportunity to learn, network and enjoy performances. Check the website for other events or workshops.

20161228_180026705_iosI said the center is in the middle of two industrial shopping centers. Not to worry if food is on your mind when you’re ready to go. Make a right turn out of the parking lot. A short drive down the road and you’re in downtown Hyattsville, MD. There are many places to stop for a bite to eat. I found this map of downtown Hyattsville when I stopped at Shortcake Bakery. It’s just a few blocks from the center.

I visited PGAAMCC because it is one of 14 African-American museums in the state of Maryland. See my post for a list.

Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center at North Brentwood, Inc., 4519 Rhode Island Avenue, North Brentwood, MD (Prince George’s County) | 301-809-0440 | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Yelp | Foursquare | free admission | free parking | There is a fee for a private tour by staff | Call or visit the website for hours, event schedule, workshops and volunteer opportunities.

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!