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Alex Haley Memorial at Annapolis City Dock



    Annapolis is one of America's earliest port cities and the Maryland State Capital. Annapolis has a long history of Black craftsmen and dockworkers whose legacy evokes that sense of walking on sacred ground. Annapolis' complex past unfolds as you glimpse colonial life while strolling along 18th and 19th century human-scale main streets and view restored 18th century architecture such as St. John's College (begun in 1742), Maryland State House (1788), and the Old Treasury Building (1735). Founded in 1696, St. John's College is the third oldest institution of higher learning in America. Several houses Downtown were owned by signers of the Declaration of Independence who employed free Black craftsmen and enslaved workers to build them. Nowadays many people of color now enter the dome-topped Maryland State House as politicians, including the Lt. Governor.

    Slowly walk by art galleries on Main Street to City Dock. There you'll fully the grasp the leisure sailing lifestyle of Annapolis. Take a guided tour of the City Dock or board a sailing vessel to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Numerous restaurants encircle City Dock, providing ample choice for tasting world famous Maryland crabs and other seafood. As you walk along the waterfront, the glimmer of yachts and sailboats skipping across the bay catches your eye. Suddenly, you encounter a memorial to Kunta Kinte -- a stark reminder of the city's slave trading past. Then close your eyes for minute. Imagine dockworkers unloading cargo from freight vessels into nearby warehouses. Reopen your eyes to see the memorial of Alex Haley reading his family history to children. This is a moment for solemn reflection and prayer.

    Walk or drive from City Dock on Randall Street to the U.S. Naval Academy. Upon entering the academy grounds, gaze at precise quadrants of manicured grass standing at attention between each building. And notice the proud naval midshipmen in their starched uniforms making their rounds.

    As a government, military and tourism-driven town that looks to the future while engaging the healing process by honoring those who suffered from its past, Annapolis has taken great effort to be more inclusive and respectful of African American culture and history. And Highland Beach just makes you proud to be African American. Come to this region. Experience this engrossing and complex set of visitor experiences for yourself!




    Highland Beach, also located in Anne Arundel County southeast of Baltimore and east of Washington, is one of America's most significant historically Black resorts. One of Frederick Douglass' sons built this enchanting resort in the 1890s. This private beach featuring several dozen, well-tended cottages owned by the families of America's earliest Black elite, will massage that sense of belonging in your gut.

    Flocks of birds soaring over Highland Beach remind you of its proximity to wildlife along the Chesapeake Bay. April through October warmth draws a procession of sailboats, who compete with blue skies and brackish waters for a place on the bay's morning horizon. Winter seldom seems harsh, as maritime winds moderate its chilly impact. The breathtaking profusion of color from deciduous plants leading to the Chesapeake Bay will make you yearn for a summer cottage of your own. Alas, those before you have taken the best sites. Some even dock their boats in backyard river inlets.

Leonard Dorsey
Thomas Dorsey
Paul Marshall


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