2012 Awards: African American History in Lutherville
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2012 Awards: African American History in Lutherville

July 9, 2013

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Download the full 2012 Awards of Excellence (NISC members only)


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Bykota Senior Center,
Towson, MD


A center member who grew up in Lutherville, MD, created this program and it was held during February, Black History Month. Many people perceive Lutherville as a place where only “whites” lived. The volunteer’s brother had been writing and researching black history in Lutherville. This member is carrying on his work following his death. She recruited a few other center members who also lived there at the time.

They set the program up as if a number of friends were having tea in the parlor. They talked about the history in stories as they would at home. The stories and memories were rich and at times from direct experience in addition to researched facts. Members commented how much they loved the format and how much it held their attention.

They also brought photo boards, artifacts, and copies of information from the books. One of the things members enjoyed the most was that the presenters had photos from times when they were younger. Many of the places talked about such as College Manor are still standing.

We learned what attracted folks to the area and what kind of work they came for such as tending to the horses at the local Manor. It was a day of learning not only facts but the stories of fellow members, the hope for a future museum, and the awareness that all of our histories are connected in many ways.

The program highlighted and educated center members on a subject that many did not know about. Bykota Senior Center is made up of mostly white members, not very familiar with the history of this mostly white neighborhood.

Because the history was told in a storytelling narrative, it created a warm and artistic atmosphere in addition to giving historical information. It raised awareness and created openness in addition to teaching history.

Number of Staff/Volunteers Required

1 staff person coordinated; 6 members implemented


$0; Expense: $100 for photo copies and refreshments; Net: ($100)


Julie Lynn
Bykota Senior Center
611 Central Avenue
Towson, MD


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