Genealogists and historians seeking a 19th– or early 20th-century Baltimore connection will appreciate Margaret D. Pagan’s new book, African American News in the Baltimore Sun, 1870-1927. Presented as a chronology, the book contains more than 800 entries highlighting those who emerged as leaders in the fight for equal rights and opportunities as well as those affected by the events of the day. It reports the efforts to establish schools, businesses, and organizations to support the Black community. On a personal level, it reports the pride of the first Black person to cast a vote in Maryland and the anguish of a family whose loved one is victimized by law enforcement. Of special relevance to genealogists, the chronology also Includes references to applicants for a marriage license, obituaries, and information about those who wanted–or did not want–to return to Africa.
According to Pagan, some questioned why she chose the Sun to research and not an African American publication. While several African American publications existed during the period—some issues of which have survived–her goal was to learn what the larger community was saying. When she found a reference to her own great-grandfather, an ordinary gentleman, in the Sun, it confirmed her choice.
For convenience, African American News in the Baltimore Sun, 1870-1927 includes a comprehensive index to names and events referred to. This book is a starting point with primary references for anyone interested or in genealogy and/or Black history during the time period and location covered.
Publication of African American News in the Baltimore Sun marks the Genealogical.com’s third important contribution to African American genealogy in recent months. Previously, the company released the new Sixth Edition of three-volume work, Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina from the Colonial Period to About 1820, by Paul Heinegg; followed by the single volume, Second Edition of his Free African Americans of Maryland and Delaware from the Colonial Period to 1810. Later this month, Genealogical.com will release Mr. Heinegg’s list of free African Americans who served in the American Revolution from the states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas.