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Baltimore City's first planned black suburb receives historical marker

Morgan Park
Posted at 11:14 AM, Jun 13, 2024

BALTIMORE — It was known as a community of educators and now decades later it is getting the recognition it deserves. A roadside historical marker was unveiled in the Morgan Park neighborhood along East Cold Spring Road.

Morgan was the first planned Black suburb in Baltimore.

“My primary motivation for seeking a state historical marker for Morgan Park was the potential loss of our neighborhood’s legacy,” said Leonore Burts, Co-chair, Morgan Park Improvement Association, History Committee.

In 1917, Morgan University's 4th President Dr. John Spencer envisioned the 27-acre area as a community for Black faculty and professionals who weren't allowed to buy homes in white neighborhoods because of Jim Crow segregation laws.

Burt’s parents purchased their Morgan Park home from W.E.B. DuBois, renowned educator, author and civil rights activist of the 20th century in 1949.

Other notable residents included scholars and activists such as Carl J. Murphy, the publisher of the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper and Rebecca Carroll, the first African American woman to earn a doctorate from the University of Maryland College Park and the first African American woman Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Baltimore City Public Schools.

Maryland has been installing cast metal Historical Markers along state roads since 1930.

The Morgan Park Improvement Association nominated the site to the Maryland Roadside Historical Marker program.

There are dozens of markers across the state telling the often unknown history of our state.

The state offers an interactive map highlighting each one if you are interested in learning more about Maryland's history.