BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A permanent exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum rich with Maryland’s past is pivotal in outlining the state’s future.

It showcases Marylanders from every direction, including pioneer explorer Matthew Henson, Baltimore’s Isaac Myers, who went from apprentice ship caulker to supervisor in a decade and the Eastern Shore’s Elbert Bell — without him, there are no regular workdays for the Chesapeake Bay seafood industry or workers compensation.

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Included in its archives are more than 10,000 objects of Black history.

Wanda Draper is the museum’s executive director.

“Some of the stories are painful and some of the stories hurt. We tell some of the stories of lynching in Maryland,” she said. “We list every African American person who was lynched in the state of Maryland but we also tell the stories of triumph.

Also included is Druid Hill’s Blanche Callaway, the first woman to own and manage an all-male band, the Joy Boy’s, in a man’s world.

There is no jazz without east Baltimore’s Ruby Glover. Money talks in every language. You can’t speak it without Reginald Lewis.

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Draper explained everyone’s background as if she knows them personally.

“He established the first African American law firm on Wall Street and subsequently was the first African American to do a billion-dollar leveraged buyout,” she said.

People can walk through the history today. The relevance still stands for Baltimore’s next generation.

“Children who are running the streets of east Baltimore, west Baltimore, they can walk in and see the story of Reginald Lewis and say ‘I can do that’ because our children can’t be what they can’t see,” Draper said.

The museum gives back to the community, too. It raises money for kids in Title 1 schools while providing buses and admission.

Tickets are $8. To learn more, click here.

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