Henderson Exhibit Opening at Morgan State University

EXHIBIT AT JAMES E. LEWIS MUSEUM OF ART, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Opening February 2, 2016; Reception February 11, 2016, 4:30p-6:30p

The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) proudly announces the opening of its popular traveling exhibition of the work of photojournalist Paul Henderson on February 2, 2016 at Morgan University’s James E. Lewis Museum of Art. This exhibit is nearly twice as large as the show currently on display at MdHS and is free and open to the public. It features over 30 never-before-publically-exhibited Henderson works that focus on MSU. The show will be up through the end of March.

Paul Henderson’s work is an invaluable visual record of both the Civil Rights movement and everyday life in Maryland. He may be best known as the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper’s first photographer, starting at the paper in 1929.  From 1947 through 1955, Henderson spent a lot of time on the campus of Morgan State College (now University). semi-retiring in 1960. Talented and prolific, he created a body of more than 7,000 images, most of them unidentified, by subject or location, at the time of his death in 1988. MdHS has been working for over five years to put names to people and places.

Paul Henderson: Photographing Morgan features an interactive component, as MdHS continues its research to identify the people and locations in Henderson’s photos. Most of the prints containing unidentified people and places are accompanied by QR codes that will connect smartphone users to an online survey where information can be submitted. Identification forms will also be available in the gallery.

Paul Henderson: Photographing Morgan was curated by Joe Tropea. An opening reception will be held at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art on Feb. 11, 4:30pm–6:30pm. 2201 Argonne Dr. Baltimore, MD 21251

Paul Henderson Photographs

Paul Henderson was a photojournalist who worked for the Afro-American newspaper and photographed civil rights activities, sports, street scenes, politicians, and countless unidentified people. Over 7,000 of his photographs are held at the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) in Baltimore, Maryland. The exhibit Paul Henderson: Baltimore’s Civil Rights Era in Photographs, ca. 1940-1960 is on display at MdHS indefinitely and the reference photos of the original negatives are available to the public in the Special Collections Department in the MdHS library. The Henderson Collection finding aid can also be found on the MdHS website.

Through Henderson’s photos, this blog asks the question, “What was life like in Maryland for the African American community during the Civil Rights Era?” Browse through the articles about people, places, and events below or the Galleries pages to get an idea.

Video info: Interview with Vernon Dobson. McKeldin-Jackson Oral History Project Collection, Maryland Historical Society, OH 8131.

Transcript:
I think it’s a false assumption that negro progress has been born on the shoulders of a few people. And this is why I shun myself and [?] the leadership role, visible leadership role when it comes to being printed up in the press as a leader. Because I think it’s a false assumption on the part of any person to believe that he or she is the leader. We are participants of a process and the process is continuing. And it never ends. And isn’t going to end until everybody’s free.

Thurgood Marshall Receiving NAACP Lifetime Membership Plaque from Carl Murphy

Thurgood Marshall Receiving NAACP Plaque from Carl Murphy, ca. 1956. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.A2-148.

Thurgood Marshall Receiving NAACP Plaque from Carl Murphy, ca. 1956. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.A2-148.

Before Baltimore native Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993) became the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice, he was a lawyer directing legal operations for the NAACP from 1940 to 1961. Known for many of his great accomplishments during the struggle for civil rights, his most noted are the Murray v. Pearson (1936) and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). In the former case, Marshall, along with Charles Hamilton Houston broke the walls of segregation in 1935 when they secured the admission of Donald Gaines Murray to the University of Maryland School of Law, which before then denied admission to blacks. The former and most well-known Marshall case was a landmark decision that decreed separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional in 1954.

Image information:

Thurgood Marshall receiving NAACP lifetime membership plaque from Carl Murphy [editor of the Afro-American newspaper]
Baltimore, Maryland
circa 1956
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.A2-148
Maryland Historical Society

NAACP Membership Registration Campaign meeting

NAACP meeting. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.A2-147.

NAACP meeting. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.A2-147.

Founded in 1912, the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP is the second oldest in the country. In response to legal segregation in education, housing, and employment, Dr. Carl Murphy, editor of the Afro-American newspaper, called a meeting with fourteen community leaders in 1935 in an effort to revitalize the branch. Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson was one of the fourteen and from then until 1970, she would be president of the Baltimore Branch. The association’s membership in 1965 totaled 440,538 in 1,642 branches throughout the U.S.

Image information:

NAACP Membership Registration Campaign meeting
Baltimore, Maryland
October 1948
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.A2-147
Maryland Historical Society

Children entering the Regent Theatre

Children entering the Regent Theatre. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.B1-006.

Children entering the Regent Theatre. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.B1-006.

Weekend trips to the theater to watch cartoons was a popular activity for children in area of the Regent Theatre. The Regent Theatre (1627 Pennsylvania Avenue) and the Royal Theatre (1329 Pennsylvania Avenue) both screened films and held live shows in addition to showing cartoons.

Image information:

Children entering the Regent Theatre
1627 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
ca. 1942
Paul Henderson, 1899-1988
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.B1-006
Maryland Historical Society

1627 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland via Google Maps:

18th Annual Convocation, United Holy Church of America

18th Annual Convocation, United Holy Church of America, ca. 1930. Paul Henderson, HEN.09.09-006.

18th Annual Convocation, United Holy Church of America, ca. 1930. Paul Henderson, HEN.09.09-006.

The black church is considered to be the focal point of the community’s social, political, and cultural life. Typically associated with collective action by blacks, the church created a community of support, spiritual guidance, and other groups. Parishioners of black churches throughout history took the lead in organizing their congregations in civil rights and political actions as well as spiritual revival.

Image information:

18th Annual Convocation, United Holy Church of America
Baltimore, Maryland
Not dated (ca. 1930)
Paul Henderson, 1899-1988
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.09.09-006.

Danny’s Shoe Store

Danny's Shoe Store, 1953. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.B2-264.

Danny’s Shoe Store, 1953. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.B2-264.

Presumably, the couple depicted are Daniel Siegel and his wife Ruth, who operated Danny’s Shoe Store from circa 1942 through circa 1948. Danny’s, next to Chen-Yu Beauty Salon, was located within walking distance from Pennsylvania Avenue and Henderson’s home on McCulloh Street.

Image information:

Danny’s Shoe Store
1108-1110 Laurens Street, Baltimore
February 1953
Paul Henderson, 1899-1988
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.B2-264