By Gwen Marable
Willa Banks, a historian whose focus is the 18th and 19th centuries, gave several talks on Black history to Broadmead residents in February and will do the same in March. Banks most recently served as the Director of Education/Curatorial Affairs at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Oella, in western Baltimore County, and is now a consultant.
The title of the first talk, on February 5, was "Bound Up in One Humanity: Frances E. W. Harper." Harper (1825-1911), who was born free in Baltimore, worked for an end to slavery and for the full citizenship rights of all people, including advocacy for the voting rights of African American women. She also cofounded the National Association of Colored Women, a confederation of women's clubs, along with Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman, Mary Church Terrell, and others.
A second talk, "Monuments: Facts and Fictions," hosted on February 16, examined various types of monuments throughout Maryland and explored their design, history, and the meaning of their fabrication and installation. In addition, was time for a discussion about how communities can move forward in light of recent protests calling for the removal of monuments related to the Confederacy.
The presentations were made via Zoom.