Come Visit Our African American Storytellers Circle on Maryland Day

The Department of American Studies is sponsoring an African American Storytellers Circle on Maryland Day, April 30th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Cole Fieldhouse, near the Driskell Center Gallery.  Current and former residents of Lakeland, an African American enclave adjacent to the campus in College Park, will talk about their experiences growing up in historic Lakeland, their associations with the University of Maryland, attending schools before, during the transition, and after the desegregation of public schools in Prince George’s County, and how they sustained a rich family and community life during segregation.  Our featured storyteller will be Dr. Joanne Braxton, the Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Professor at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her writings include Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition Within a Tradition (Temple University Press, 1989), Sometimes I Think of Maryland (Sunbrury Press, 1977), a collection of poetry, and the play, Crossing Deep River: A Ritual Drama in Three Movements, among other works.  Dr. Braxton is a descendant of John C. Johnson, a founder of Lakeland (1890).  She will be joined by 15-18 other storytellers representing several generations of Lakeland residents.

 Please stop by and give a listen on Maryland Day and pick up our free guide, “So You Want to Compile a Neighborhood History?  An Annotated Bibliography,” prepared by the students enrolled in AMST 498X/ AMST 629C/ HISP 635, Social and Ethnic Issues in Preservation.  We will also have free cards with treasured recipes from Lakelanders, and other goodies.  Our African American Storytellers Circle is part of an ongoing partnership between the Department of American Studies, the Lakeland Community Heritage Project, and other units at the University of Maryland.  Don’t miss this unique event!