Maryland's Civil Rights Era in Photographs, circa 1940-1960
The early civil rights movement was an era of ardent activism and turmoil in Maryland. Paul Henderson’s remarkable photographs offered a vivid glimpse into the daily lives of African Americans at this time.
A Prolific Photojournalist
Paul Henderson (1899-1988) was born in Springfield, Tennessee, and moved to Baltimore in 1929. In 1930, Henderson married grade school teacher Elizabeth Johnson and the couple moved into an apartment on McCulloh Street, within walking distance of Pennsylvania Avenue, the epicenter of Baltimore’s black community. Along with the NAACP, politics, church life, sports, education, and the Afro-American newspaper, Pennsylvania Avenue is one of the many subjects featured in his photographs.
This exhibition featured images of important events, groups, and people, such as the protest at the segregated Ford's Theatre in Baltimore, NAACP membership campaign meetings at Sharp Street Church, the Baltimore Elite Giants Negro League baseball team, Morgan State College, Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson (head of the Baltimore NAACP, 1935-1970) and family, Thurgood Marshall with Dr. Carl Murphy (editor-publisher of the Afro-American newspaper), Henderson's photography equipment, and ephemera from his manuscript collection.