In the 1950s and early 1960s, Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore City was known as a cultural hub for African-Americans where nightclubs and big names in black entertainment, business, education and politics showed up to see and be seen on ‘The Avenue’. In the late 1960s, when Baltimore’s shipping and steel industries went into decline and Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, many corner stores and businesses closed in the riots that followed, never to re-open. What was left in the wake is a community racially and economically isolated.


African-American elders witnessed this change in the community. Alberta Davis, Fred Pride and Lola Jenkins-Reed tell their experience of Pennsylvania Avenue, then and now. They also share some of their life stories: Alberta about raising fifty foster children, Fred about the animals who brought him to school, and Lola about the struggles of the black community. The three were students of the clay class for older adults at Baltimore Clayworks Jubilee Arts in Pennsylvania Avenue in the spring of 2010. By sharing their personal histories, we hope viewers are able to catch a glimpse of the past and learn from the oral history told.

View the video Stories of Resiliency

Produced and directed by Katti Sta. Ana

Edited by Megan Sherman

Filmed by Zoë Reznick Gewanter and Megan Sherman

Made possible in partnership with The Maryland Institute College of Art, New Lens, and Baltimore Clayworks

August 2010




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