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Remembering Louis Diggs, who chronicled Baltimore County’s Black communities

Maryland GovPics Howard Cooper.jpg
Louis Diggs, a historian of Baltimore County’s Black communities, attended a ceremony to commemorate the Howard Cooper Marker at 220 Courthouse Court in Towson in May 2021. Credit: Anthony DePanise, GovPics/Flickr

Louis Diggs invested decades shining a light on what no one before had written much about: the history of African-American communities in Baltimore County. From an archived 2008 interview, we hear how churches were a big part of the story, and what it took to desegregate the Maryland National Guard. Diggs died last October at age 90.

An exhibit --”In Freedom’s Name”-- co-curated by Diggs and Dr. Glenn T. Johnston of Stevenson University, is now on display at several sites in Annapolis.

Another place Louis Diggs’ legacy lives on is the museum in Granite, Maryland--named for Diggs and another historian, Lester Johnson; it preserves the story of Black Marylanders who worked in the quarries of western Baltimore County, and of 40 African-American communities in the county.

Check out an oral history from Diggs from the Historical Society of Baltimore County.