View this email in your browser
April 15, 2019
Monthly news from the Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts (BHPLA)
From the Director

Lawrence Jackson

We welcome you to the inaugural Billie Holiday Project newsletter.  Our idea is to post events that open circuits of intellectual and artistic exchange between Johns Hopkins and the city of Baltimore. Working closely with the Sheridan Libraries, we are excited to serve as custodians and archivists of the city’s rich African American history, one in easy evidence by the host of spectacular 19th and 20th century figures, from Frederick Douglass and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, to Thurgood Marshall and Holiday herself. 
We have launched a Helena Hicks Speaker’s Series at historic churches and a Hopkins Pathways program affording JHU undergraduate and graduate researchers the chance to share their pathbreaking work with high-achieving public school students. The newsletter presents our ongoing efforts in respect, engagement, exchange, recovery and celebration. Please join our activities of mutuality and reciprocity between an historic city and an historic university. Visit us on the web at
Lawrence P. Jackson                         
Save the Date: Coming Soon from BHPLA

For more information on any of our events, email

April 28, 1 p.m. 
Lecture: "Frederick Bailey of Baltimore" 
Helena Hicks Lecture Series at St. James African Episcopal Church

The Billie Holiday Project is pleased to kick-off the first in a series of community-engaged lectures at historic African American churches in West Baltimore. Named in honor of civil rights activist Helena Hicks, the lecture series highlights African American faculty at Johns Hopkins whose scholarship explores questions of race, culture, history, inequality, and social change in the U.S. Lawrence Jackson will deliver the first presentation, "Frederick Bailey of Baltimore," to an ecumenical audience of three church congregations: St. James, Bethel A.M.E., and Sharp Street United Methodist. 

May 13, 12:30 p.m.
Juniors' Luncheon for Baltimore City High School Students

BHPLA will host eleventh-grade students from public schools across the city at the historic Peabody Library. Thirty-six Juniors, selected by their school counselors for high-achievement and scholastic promise, will attend a luncheon, participate in a Mt. Vernon African American history scavenger hunt, and enjoy a lecture by Lawrence Jackson. Speakers at the luncheon will include JHU Vice Provost David Phillips and current Baltimore Scholars. The Juniors' Luncheon is an activity of BHPLA's Hopkins Pathways, a college readiness program partnership with The Office of College and Career Readiness at Baltimore City Public Schools.

May 13, 3 p.m.
Lecture: "Billie Holiday's Baltimore"

Join us at the stunning Peabody Library for this free, public lecture by Lawrence Jackson and JHU students Francisco Perez-Marsilla and Bianca Martone.
Winter/Spring 2019: Recent Events at BHPLA

New Faculty/Staff Hire (January 1)

Professor Kali-Ahset Amen joined JHU as Associate Director of the Billie Holiday Project and Assistant Research Professor of Sociology. Amen recently relocated to Baltimore from Atlanta, GA, where she was Associate Director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University. A Washington, D.C. native, Amen is excited to be back in the mid-Atlantic.

Mapping Frederick Douglass from the Hackerman Map Collection (January 10)

In this presentation at the Peabody Library, Professor Lawrence Jackson chronicled the time Frederick Douglass spent in Maryland, before making his escape north. Using interactive maps, Jackson recounted Douglass’ formative years--from his life as a slave on Eastern Shore plantations, to the streets and shipyards of Baltimore. 

School Engagement: Loyola Blakefield and PS #58 Hilton Elementary (Feb 19 & 27)

Bringing BHPLA's outreach model into middle schools, Lawrence Jackson spoke to young learners on subjects ranging from literature and art to political empowerment. The first talk contributed to a regular series at Loyola Blakefield, Blakefield Book & Bean, which connects students to writers whose work touches on topics of historical and contemporary significance. The second engagement event, Books and Boys, was part of an empowerment initiative for African American boys organized by the Urban Leadership Institute.

Panel weighs alternatives to policing in Baltimore (March 7)

Students Against Private Police (SAPP) and BHPLA co-sponsored a panel on alternatives to policing. The panel featured speakers from SAPP, Baltimore Redevelopment Action Coalition for Empowerment (BRACE), and Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS). Lawrence Jackson moderated the discussion. Read more from the JHU Newsletter...

Oral History interview with Camay Murphy, daughter of Jazz Great Cab Calloway (March 11)

Hopkins students Frederico Perez-Marsilla and Bianca Martone, joined BHPLA faculty on a research trip to Havre de Grace, MD to interview Mrs. Camay Calloway Murphy, eldest child of famed jazz musician and Baltimore native Cab Calloway. Born in 1922, Mrs. Murphy told stories of family and black community life along the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor in mid-century Baltimore. For more about Mrs. Murphy, read and listen here...

Billie Holiday Celebration on Pennsylvania Avenue (April 6)

The Historic Upton Neighborhoods, an assembly of six neighborhood associations, organized a public celebration of Billie Holiday's 104th birthday. The half-day event took place at the commemorative Holiday statue located on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Street. Among several speakers and performers, Lawrence Jackson delivered reflections on Billie Holiday's life, lineage, and legacy in Baltimore.

Motor House Lecture on "Billie Holiday's Baltimore" (April 6)

BHPLA presented a public lecture at Motor House in conjunction with several events celebrating the life and music of jazz singer Billie Holiday. The presentation used the tools of the historical archive – maps, photographs, newspapers, city directories, memoir, biography, film and music – to etch a social history of Billie Holiday (1915-1959) in Baltimore, between roughly 1900 and 1960. Read more...
Black Humanities and Culture at JHU

April events at the JHU Homewood campus and Peabody Institute:

Upcoming Events Around Town

April 19 

Rise Bmore
Union Baptist Church, 8 p.m., 1219 Druid Hill Avenue, 21217

A free evening of words, music, and movement, of and for Baltimore, in honor of Freddie Gray. Featuring Music/poetry/dance by Judah Adashi, Brinae Ali, danah bella, Taylor Hillary Boykins, Lavena Johanson, Sean Jones, Jessie Montgomery, Wendel Patrick, J. Pope, Tariq Touré, and the Peabody String Sinfonia.

April 20

Blackface: A Reclamation of Beauty, Power and Narrative
Gallerie Myrtis, 7 p.m., 2224 North Charles Street, 21218
Galerie Myrtis and The Agora Culture present the visual art exhibition Blackface: A Reclamation of Beauty, Power, and Narrative. In asserting the beauty of the black body, affirming its power—and societal and historical place, curators Myrtis Bedolla and Jessica Stafford Davis offer a counter narrative to the racist archetypes that evolved from 18th century minstrelsy, and its negative stereotyping of African Americans that prevails today.

This monthly newsletter was sent on behalf of the
Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts

Johns Hopkins University
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
3400 North Charles Street, Gilman 90A, Baltimore, MD 21218 

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts · Johns Hopkins University · 3400 N. Charles St. Wyman, Gilman 90 · Baltimore, Md 21218 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp