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The rich history of Annapolis has included African Americans for centuries. According to the city’s records for the 19th Century, “they comprised one-third of the population in Annapolis. Prior to the Civil War, Maryland had more free African-American citizens than any other state…In Annapolis, about 400 of the city’s 4000 inhabitants were free blacks and, of those, forty owned real property.”

Maryland’s prominent African American historical figures include Benjamin Banneker, Frederick Douglass, Matthew Henson, Thurgood Marshall, and Harriet Tubman. Every February, the United States celebrates African American History Month. Celebrate African American History in Annapolis by visiting the city’s sites commemorating the long struggle for freedom.

Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial

The site is comprised of three areas: the Alex Haley sculpture group, Compass Rose, and Story Wall. Roots novelist Alex Haley is seated in front of three children of different ethnic groups as he reads from a book. Nearby are three bronze plaques commemorating the author and his ancestors. One dedicated in 1981 contains the original acknowledgement of Kunta Kinte’s 1767 arrival aboard the slave ship Lord Ligonier. It is the only monument in the U.S. commemorating the actual name and place of arrival of an African slave.

Historic London Town and Maritime Villages

 London Town was founded in 1693, and it served as a port of call for merchant ships that were traversing the South River. During the 1730s, it was a hub for the slave trade. Nearby, the Maritime Villages of Southern Anne Arundel County, which is called South County by locals, was populated by African American slaves working on plantations and in the maritime industry.

Thurgood Marshall Memorial

Honoring the first African American Supreme Court justice, the impressive statue is an inspiring likeness of Thurgood Marshall. The memorial is situated by the former court of appeals, where Marshall enjoyed the first major victory of his lifelong struggle for equality under the law for all Americans.

Red Hot & Blue Annapolis Highlights

Founded in 1988, Red Hot & Blue Annapolis is a full-service, casual-themed restaurant chain and caterer featuring delicious award-winning ribs, Memphis-style barbecue, smoked wings, and Southern sides and desserts.

The atmosphere is steeped in legendary and contemporary blues music and delivers a large dose of Southern hospitality in a fun and entertaining dining environment. Bring your friends and family to our warm and friendly Annapolis location today!