African American history embedded in B&O railroad
Articles, Blog

African American history embedded in B&O railroad

August 12, 2019


ARTIFACTS ON DISPLAY. JENNIFER: THE B AND O RAILROAD
BEGAN IN 1828, AND INSIDE THE
MUSEUM ON PRATT STREET, YOU’LL
FIND PEICES THAT DEPICT ITS
HISTORY IN MARYLAND AND ACROSS
THE COUNTRY. AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY BEGINS
HERE DURING THE CIVIL WAR, WHEN
RUNAWAY SLAVES BECAME WHAT’S
KNOWN AS CONTRABAND SOLDIERS PUT
TO WORK BY THE UNION ARMY.>>TOOK THOSE GUYS, MADE THEM
WORKERS PAID THEM, GAVE THEM
, CLOTHING, HAD THEM HELP
REBUILD RAILROADS OR REBUILD
WALLS. RINGS LIKE THAT. JENNIFER: IF YOU WANT TO SEE
WHAT TRAVEL WAS LIKE FOR AFRICAN
AMERICANS POST CIVIL WAR JUST
STEP INSIDE THIS RAIL CAR WHERE
YOU CAN SEE HOW THE SEATING’S
BEEN CHANGED TO ACCOMMODATE SEGREGATION. JIM CROW LAWS EXPANSIVE SEATING
IN THE REAR FOR WHITE TRAVELERS
WITH LIMITED SEATING FOR BLACK
PASSENGERS,CLOSE TO THE FREIGHT
AREA AND NEXT TO THE STOVE.>>IT IS PROBABLY BLAZING HOT
AND NOT COMFORTABLE. NOT THE BEST SEATING. IT IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN
THE OTHER. IT MAKES YOU FEEL LESS OF A
HUMAN BEING FOR SURE. JENNIFER: IT WAS IN THE 1880’S
AND 1890’S WHEN AFRICAN
AMERICANS PLAYED A SIGNIGICANT
ROLE IN THE RAIL SERVICE
INDUSTRY. PULLMAN CARS WERE IN STYLE. THINK FANCY TRAVEL FOR THE
WEALTHY, WITH THE FIRST SLEEPER
CARS. THEY WANTED PASSENGERS TO HAVE
TOP-NOTCH SERVICE.>>THE PULLMAN COMPANY MADE SU
ON ALL THOSE CARS WERE PORTERS. PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THEM WERE
AFRICAN AMERICANS ALL THROUGH
THE COUNTRY. FOLKS WHO WOULD HELP THE
TRAVELERS GET WHAT THEY NEEDED,
SET UP THE BEDS, CARRY THEIR
BAGS, THINGS LIKE THAT. THE RED CAPS WERE THE ONES
HELPING AT THE STATION AND
LOADING IN THE BAGS. ON THE TRAIN ALL THE PULLMAN
PORTERS WERE IN THE WHITE COATS
WITH THE BLACK TIES. THEY STOOD UP SO YOU KNEW WHO
THEY WERE. JENNIFER: THE RAIL INDUSTRY
WOULD KNOW THEM WELL FOR ANOTHER
REASON.

No Comments

Leave a Reply