“East Towson: From Jim Crow to Black Lives Matter”

 

Historic East Towson, an African-American community unique to Baltimore County and the nation, is a thriving, tight-knit enclave adjacent to Towson’s urban core. Descendants of the original settlers – men, women and children formerly enslaved at the nearby Hampton Plantation – still live in the neighborhood today. This presentation focuses on the political events and history that have had a major impact on Historic East Towson for generations.

Carol Allen, creator of, “East Towson: From Jim Crow to Black Lives Matter,” served for over two decades as Executive Director of Historic Towson, Inc. In that role she oversaw the addition of several buildings and districts to the National Register and Baltimore County Final Landmarks List.  She is a Past Chair of the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission.  With her rich experience as an historic preservationist, Carol accesses an extensive body of work to advocate for justice, equity and equality for what remains of a community with a past that offers  considerable political context to much of what dominates our attention on the world stage today. 

Nancy Goldring is the newly elected President of the Northeast Towson Improvement Association and grand-daughter of longtime and highly esteemed leader of Historic East Towson, the late, Adelaide C.V. Bentley. Nancy’s great-great grandfather, James Williams, founded the Mount Oliver Baptist Church at the corner of York Road and Bosley Ave some 130 years ago.. Her family continues to serve and worship there today. Earlier this year Nancy learned of her family’s ties to manumitted slaves from the Hampton Plantation also still here in Towson. The National Historic Society’s Ethnographic Study confirms that Nancy’s family and others have indeed been in Towson, “Since the Beginning,” and long before the American Civil War. Nancy speaks with us from her lived experience and a commitment to protect her community’s unique thread in the fabric of American history.

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