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.

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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

Pearl Bailey in her dressing room

Pearl Bailey in her dressing room, ca. 1942. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.A2-247.

Pearl Bailey in her dressing room, ca. 1942. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.A2-247.

This iconic photograph is seldom credited to Paul Henderson. Pearl Bailey (1918-1990), raised in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, was an entertainer who started singing in nightclubs, later taking parts in films and a leading role in the first all-black Broadway production, Hello Dolly! (1968). She played Smith’s Hotel and Cafe as well as Club Astoria in Baltimore.

Image information:

Pearl Bailey in her dressing room
ca. 1942
Paul Henderson, 1899-1988
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.A2-247
Maryland Historical Society

[Governor Lane meeting with the Board of Cheltenham School for Boys]

[Governor Lane meeting with the Board of Cheltenham School for Boys], 1951. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.A2-206.

[Governor Lane meeting with the Board of Cheltenham School for Boys], 1951. Paul Henderson, HEN.00.A2-206.

In 1948, Governor William Preston Lane, Jr. (1892-1967), seated second from right, appointed nine African Americans to the Board of Trustees for Cheltenham School for Boys after the entire board resigned. The correctional institution for young Black males was in dire straits when the new board took over. Members of particular note were Willard A. Allen (seated far left), president of Southern Life Insurance Company, and Violet Hill Whyte (seated second from left), the first black policewoman in Baltimore.

Image information:

[Governor Lane meeting with the Board of Cheltenham School for Boys]
State House, 100 State Circle, Annapolis, Maryland
February 1951
Paul Henderson, 1899-1988
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.A2-206
Maryland Historical Society

[Man pushing snowball cart]

[Man pushing snowball cart], not dated. Paul Henderson. HEN.00.A1-105.

[Man pushing snowball cart], not dated. Paul Henderson. HEN.00.A1-105.

West Baltimore’s Harlem Park was the first residential area in the Baltimore Urban Renewal Housing Agency’s 1959 program. Creation of “inner-block parks” as well as removal of shanties and reduction of density was the main focus of urban renewal for this area.

Image information:

[Man pushing snowball cart]. Harlem Park, Baltimore (north side of Edmondson Avenue, west of Calhoun Street)
Not dated
Paul Henderson, 1899-1988
4 in. x 5 in. acetate negative
Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, HEN.00.A1-105
Maryland Historical Society

Bayard Rustin

Mrs. Bowen Jackson and Bayard Rustin protesting Ford's Theatre. Paul Henderson, MdHS, HEN.00.A2-155.

Mrs. Bowen Jackson and Bayard Rustin protesting Ford’s Theatre. Paul Henderson. MdHS, HEN.00.A2-155.

Henderson photographed Bayard Rustin when he was in Baltimore protesting the Jim Crow admission policy at Ford’s Theatre. The protest lasted five years and attracted Civil Rights advocates such as Rustin and Paul Robeson, as seen in other Henderson photographs.

Bayard is mostly recognized for organizing the 1963 March on Washington and being a close advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. Not only was Rustin fighting for his rights as an African American in America, but he was also fighting for his right to live an openly gay lifestyle. To find out more about Rustin, visit the site of a documentary on Rustin at Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin at rustin.org. There is a great trailer for the documentary on the home page.

A cropped version of Henderson’s photograph ran in the Afro-American newspaper on October 29, 1949 with the following caption:
Bayard Rustin, who spent 22 days on the North Carolina chain gang for refusal to obey the jim crow travel laws, is shown as he joined the NAACP picket line at Ford’s Theatre, last week, in protest of its policy of segregation. This is the fourth season of the NAACP’s picketing in Baltimore. Shown left to right, are Mrs. Bowen Jackson and Mr. Rustin. 

The FBI investigated Rustin for his alleged ties to the Communist Party. The documents can be viewed through the FBI Records Vault. FBI documents on other Civil Rights activists can also be viewed.