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From the Washington Informer:
History buffs may enjoy a fun- and fact-filled motor-coach and walking tour sponsored by The Washington Informer to Annapolis, Maryland – a city where blacks have made major contribution for more than 350 years.
The fifth annual Washington Informer African American Heritage Tour, with the theme “Our Annapolis Roots to Freedom,” departs from THEARC in Southeast Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8 a.m.
Annapolis, and other communities along the Chesapeake Bay, has a number of fascinating sites and structures that illustrate the preponderance and resilience of the black experience – from the heinous days of the “invisible institution” to the tumultuous Civil War and the later civil rights movement.
Stories of how blacks faced hardship and somehow survived can be found in the monuments, historic homes, churches and museums that proudly stand today.
Highlights of the tour include: the Banneker-Douglass Museum where you can learn about an enclave of black farmers, artisans, mariners, merchants, resistance leaders, inventors, politicians and soldiers who led their communities despite racism; a walking tour that will take you into the African Americans changed the course of history while working, raising their families and battling slavery; and visiting The Maryland State House – the first and only state house to serve as the nation’s capital where the fledgling U.S. government conducted business from Nov. 1783 to August 1767.
One key stop along the tour will be the City Dock where several statues have been erected that pay tribute to Alex Haley, the author of the seminal novel “Roots.” The story recounts the life of Kunta Kinte – an African slave taken from his home in Gambia who arrived in Annapolis in 1767.
But there’s more. Those on the tour will also visit The Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center and Memorial – part of a $27 million complex dedicated in September 2006 whose mission is to preserve the history of Wiley H. Bates High School, which from 1932 to 1966, offered secondary education opportunities for blacks in Anne Arundel County and served as the only high school for African Americans. The cultural arts heritage center features historical documents and collections that tell the tale of the black experience.
Sponsors of this year’s tour include: Washington Informer Charities, PEPCO, GEICO, Amtrak, Coca-Cola, D.C. Lottery, Southwest Airlines, Nielsen, THEARC, Capital Entertainment Services, DC In Black Tours, Giant and Dutch Mill Catering.