The Growth of the Black Middle Class

The Growth of the Black Middle Class (HM2D1B)

Location: Oxon Hill, MD 20745 Prince George's County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 47.56', W 77° 1.455'

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By the mid-1700s, Prince George's County had the largest populations of slaves in the state — nearly half of its residents were enslaved Africans, most working on local tobacco plantations. The Civil War drastically changed this equation. During the conflict, county planters sided with the south, though most did not favor Maryland seceding from the Union. In April 1862, slavery was abolished in the Nation's Capital, and many Prince George's slaves fled there to feedom. Other escaped bondage by enlisting in the Union Army.

After the Civil War, a new state constitution freed Maryland's remaining slaves. Plantations began breaking up and newly freed slaves took up work as laborers, tenant farmers, and sharecroppers. Small African-American communities formed throughout the county. In the early to mid-1900s, African Americans who had fled Prince George's returned to build communities, such as the suburbs of Lincoln, North Brentwood, Fairmont Heights, and Glenarden. Between 1970 and 1980, the county's African-American population nearly tripled. Today, Prince George's County is the most affluent majority-black county in the nation.

Coming out of slavery, most African-Americans were sharecroppers. With the growth of the nation's capital after the Civil War, African-Americans migrated to the

region to work government jobs. Now the county boasts more black-owned businesses than any other jurisdiction in the state.

During the Civil War, many slaves left their plantations and enlisted in the Union Army. These black troops and enlisted in the Union Army. These black troops are from Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry, stationed at Fort Lincoln on the county's western border. From this location they could protect the approach of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Baltimore (Bladensburg) Pike.

Sandlot baseball was a popular sport among the county's African-American residents from 1920-1960. These teams were outlets for talented black players who were prevented from playing for the all-white major league teams.
HM NumberHM2D1B
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, December 24th, 2018 at 1:03pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324198 N 4295715
Decimal Degrees38.79266667, -77.02425000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 47.56', W 77° 1.455'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 47' 33.6" N, 77° 1' 27.3" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near I-95, Oxon Hill MD 20745, US
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