Oral, Visual History Exhibit Showcases Civil Rights In Baltimore

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For All The World To Hear
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Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—“For All The World To Hear” is the name of a project at UMBC featuring personal stories about the civil rights struggle in Baltimore.

Ron Matz has more on the storytellers and, as part of Black History Month, a look at an amazing exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society.

Singers Pearl Bailey and Mahalia Jackson appeared in Baltimore in the 50s. Their photos are part of the Paul Henderson Collection, which also tells the important story of Baltimoreans and the struggle for civil rights.

There’s Thurgood Marshall and the Mitchell family and renowned sports reporter Sam Lacy.

“People here in Baltimore were active. There were incredible dynamic communities. We had people actively fighting for the expansion of civil rights. We have so many firsts in Baltimore. The civil rights story is really a story of Baltimore,” said Kristin Schenning, director of education at Maryland Historical Society.

“There’s a lot going on at UMBC. We have an exhibition ‘For All The World To See.’ The show has inspired this project, ‘For All The World To Hear,’ which is an oral history performance and digital humanities project which I curated,” said Sandra Abbott, UMBC curator of collections.

Lu Coleman and Robert Houston are two of the storytellers. They were part of Baltimore’s civil rights movement.

“What we take for granted now has not always been that way. Someone had to pay for that. It cost dearly. Some people gave their lives and careers,” Houston said.

“I don’t know how, why it was I got involved. It just seemed the right thing to do. I’m glad I had a chance to take part in some important work that was done in Baltimore,” Coleman said.

Their stories will be told Tuesday night, as part of the “For All The World To Hear” project at UMBC.

“We’re performing at the Maryland Historical Society Tuesday night and also at other venues around the city as part of our outreach project to get out into the community,” Abbott said.

Meanwhile, at the Maryland Historical Society, there are 6,000 photographs in the amazing collection and 75 to 80 percent of the people in these photos remain unidentified.

“We’ve had people come in trying to identify these images. We’d love to have people to continue to come down and do that,” Schenning said. “We have a small selection up on the walls. We’ll be highlighting more of the collection, and we’re putting together a traveling exhibition that will be going around the state so more people can see the great photography Paul Henderson did.”

Tuesday night’s “For All The World To Hear” program at the Maryland Historical Society begins at 6 p.m.

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