The Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts and Entertainment District recently launched a virtual library of photos and oral histories to ensure the Black arts, academic, and intellectual significance of this West Baltimore area isn’t forgotten or erased.
What pieces of Black history have been preserved on The Avenue?
Currently, an eight-and-a-half-foot statue of Billie Holiday is the only monument on the strip that recognizes its status as an epicenter for Black art and entertainment during the mid-20th century.
The lack of preservation is due to racist housing practices that caused decades of disinvestment in Black communities across the city, according to the Baltimore Fishbowl. Additionally, the city stopped much of its documentation in the area following the protests of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.s’ assassination in 1986, said Angela Carroll, the lead curator and art consultant for the Black Arts District.
Anything else I should know?
Organizers are working to have photography displayed along the corridor by the end of 2022 and curricula about Pennsylvania Avenue’s Black history taught in schools by the beginning of 2023.
You can read more here.